AGRA, INDIA – The government of Uttar Pradesh has strongly denied a rumour that India’s famed Taj Mahal will be sold to the Walt Disney Company in California. The Taj Mahal is a world heritage site that has seen tourism decline sharply in the past decade and is considered to be one of the “Seven Wonders of the World.”
The mausoleum, built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal is built of white marble and is regarded around the world as an architectural masterpiece.
Speculation regarding a possible sale had been rampant for weeks that the government had been negotiating with the Burbank, California entertainment conglomerate for the sale of India’s icon to eternal love. The buzz apparently began when a document that “looked official” was leaked to the local media showing that cultural heritage funding to the site had been denied and it had also been left off the official tourism brochure produced by the state.
“We’ve heard that Disney has plans to erect a new castle on the site like the one in Orlando, Florida,” said Kannan Acharya, a sanitary engineer from New Delhi. “And all because the government will not give any money to the Taj Mahal for tourism. Shame!”
Not everyone in India is disappointed with the idea of selling the iconic site to the Disney Company, however. Two seven-year olds interviewed on a public school playground in Agra thought the construction of a brand new princess castle built by Disney that would be “easy to go to then” because it was “much closer than Florida” , was “ just super fabulous” and “a dece idea”.
Aadarsh Patel, the head of the Uttar Pradesh government’s department of international affairs, who spoke to the media at a hastily-called press conference, called the idea of such a sale “preposterous” and a “scurrilous rumour.”
Patel also denied a leaked document that the government had issued a secret tender for the production of eight-thousand plush Goofy dolls.
As of press time, The Disney Company, which owns theme parks around the world, was unavailable for comment. Source: FNT Staff
Photo credit: Original images at India.com, Govloop.com and Fanpop.com