The prestigious collection of antiques and art inside Taj Mahal Tower and Hotel Palace survived a truly miraculous escape. Over ninety percent of Taj’s electric collection that was brilliantly gathered from different sources over a complete century was unharmed. What is more surprising to note is that not even a single art work has faced any destruction beyond redemption, as reported by the Indian Hotels vice chairman RK Krishna Kumar.
This valuable collection includes over 2500 paintings, artifacts and antiques that are worth a value of about 1000 crores, as estimated by Bowring Art Auctioneers. Even though the terrorists sprayed bullets indiscriminately on the hotel’s marble lobby, the valuable red mural tucked behind front desk by the famous MF Hussain escaped all damages without any bullet hole. However, the most touching escape is of Tree of Life, which is a beautiful metal Bastar sculpture of bronze, alloy casting and brass. It serves as a crucial part of art collection of this grand hotel and stood originally on 5th floor under a dome. The whole region was gutted with dented ceilings, ash like furniture and charred walls bit only the Tree of Life was left unharmed. This beautiful art piece that is considered to be the strong immortality symbol survived.
After the attacks, this Tree of Life was displayed grandly in hotel’s main lobby. A large number of renowned guests paid due homage to this artwork. This Tree of Life now stands between 2 brass plates, 1 inscribed with names of people who died in these terror attacks and the other inscribed with great tribute to these people. The plate before the art piece read as the Tree of Life serves as most ancient inter cultural symbol of the construction of universe that can be viewed as a main link between heaven, some other world and earth. Also, it is the ideal salutation symbol to all those who lost their lives on 26th November. Even the management of the grand hotel has decided holding an annual tribute to this sculpture in order to memorialize the dead.