Indian government to preserve Coronation Park, monument to the British Raj
For decades after Indian independence the now dusty field in north Delhi where George V staged his sumptuous 1911 Coronation Durbar went to rack and ruin. A tangle of trees and thorny scrub slowly engulfed a towering statue of the monarch and Emperor of India, intended to inspire fear and awe in his subjects.
On this open ground, now hemmed in by slums and a dual carriageway, Britain made a lavish statement of imperial power - or overweening vanity.
In Delhi political circles the Coronation Park was seen, perhaps with a hint of satisfaction, as a fittingly tatty postscript to the vainglorious era of the British Raj.
Now, however, the New Delhi government and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage are restoring the park as a tourist attraction.
Until recently only the most intrepid and well informed tourists - and boys retrieving cricket balls - ventured into its walled precincts.
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