Victoria Memorial, Basirhat
About Victoria Memorial
In January 1901, on the death of Queen Victoria, The 1st Baron Curzon of Kedleston (later created The 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston), the then Viceroy of India, suggested the creation of a fitting memorial. Lord Curzon proposed the construction of a grand building with a museum and gardens. Curzon said, "Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history, and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past." The Prince of Wales, later King George V, laid the foundation stone on 4 January 1906, and it was formally opened to the public in 1921.In 1912, before the construction of the Victoria Memorial was finished, King George V announced the transfer of the capital of India from Calcutta to New Delhi. Thus, the Victoria Memorial was built in what would be a provincial city rather than a capital. The Victoria Memorial was funded by Indian states, individuals of the British Raj and the British government in London. The princes and people of India responded generously to Lord Curzon's appeal for funds, and the total cost of construction of the monument, amounting to one crore, five lakhs of rupees, was entirely derived from their voluntary subscriptions.The construction of the Victoria Memorial was delayed by Curzon's departure from India in 1905 with a subsequent loss of local enthusiasm for the project, and by the need for testing of the foundations. The Victoria Memorial's foundation stone was set in 1906 and the building opened in 1921. The work of construction was entrusted to Messrs. Martin & Co. of Calcutta. Work on the superstructure began in 1910. After 1947, when India gained independence, additions were made.