Raj Rewal, 84, who is an Architect claimed that the design of the under-construction Museum of the Prime Ministers of India in the Teen Murti complex has been copied from his design of the Library Block which is at the State University of Performing and Visual Arts, Rohtak. It is being built by the Central government at a cost of Rs 271 crore.
A letter from his office to Nehru Memorial Museum and Library’s (NMML) Director Shakti Sinha, reads: “We are astonished to notice that the salient feature of the Ashoka Chakra (Dharma Chakra) on the slanting roof of the proposed design is a rip-off of the design by Mr Raj Rewal… In fact, this building is the focal point of the entire campus of 22 acres of land… The design of the campus and the library, in particular, had been published prominently in various architectural magazines in India and abroad, which received wide acclaim for its innovative design.”
As reported in the Indian Express, Sikka Associates Architect, Raman Sikka who is designing the museum, said, “We’ve imagined the design to represent the hands of Prime Ministers shaping a rising nation, and the Dharma Chakra from the flag is a symbol of a rising India. The allegation of copy is baseless, our concept is unique. One cannot break down parts of a building to find other similar parts. The building and its concept have to be seen as a whole.”
When talked about this to Sinha he said he hadn’t seen the letter: “In the jury, we had a member from the School of Planning and Architecture too. We collectively chose the design. We will certainly investigate the architectural plans and ensure there is no violation of any legal norms.”
Copies of the letter were also sent to the ministries of Culture, and Housing and Urban Affairs. Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma had laid the foundation stone for the museum on Monday.