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    Artists Centre, Kala Ghoda | Mumbai

    The black horse is long gone, yet the name Kala Ghoda persists thanks to peoples collective memory. The area in south Bombay was named after a grand 12-foot-9-inch bronze equestrian statue of King Edward VII that once stood here. Sculpted by Sir Edgar Boehm and then worth over 12,500, the statue was donated to the city in 1876 by industrialist and philanthropist, Sir Albert Sassoon to commemorate the Kings visit to the city as Prince of Wales in 1875. In the mid-60s, this statue along with many others of British personalities were damaged and removed by political activists. The Kala Ghoda was then placed in the zoological gardens of the Jijamata Udyan in Byculla.

    The Kala Ghoda area developed as a cultural and educational node from the mid-1860s after the removal of the Fort ramparts when several institutions were built in the vicinity on newly laid out plots. Watsons Esplanade Hotel was the first to be completed in 1869 and it was here that cinema was introduced to India in 1896 with the historic screening of the Lumire Brothers Cinematographe. The David SassoonLibrary (1870), the University Library and Convocation Hall (1874), the Royal Alfred Sailors Home (1876), the Kenneseth Eliyahoo Synagogue (1884), Elphinstone College (1888) and the Army & Navy Building (1899) were also completed in the neighbourhood in the closing decades of the 19th century. In the early 20th century came the Prince of Wales Museum and the Royal Institute of Science anchored by the Cowasji Jehangir Hall (now the National Gallery of Modern Art) in the centre. In later decades, the K R Cama Oriental Institute,
    Hornbill House headquarters of the Bombay Natural History Society, the Jehangir Art Gallery and Max Mueller Bhavan were also built in the vicinity.