India’s ‘Man with the Golden Shirt’ seeks entry into Guinness World Record

Updated 01 February 2013
0

India’s ‘Man with the Golden Shirt’ seeks entry into Guinness World Record

MUMBAI: India is a country known for its love of gold, but for one businessman a ring or chain was not enough.
Datta Phuge is now the proud owner of a golden shirt worth 12.7 million rupees ($ 240,000), made up of 14,000 pieces of 22-carat gold and put together by 15 craftsmen over 16 days.
“Gold has always been my passion since a young age. I’ve always worn gold as jewelery in the form of bracelets, rings, chains,” he told AFP.
The 42-year-old, who lives in the Pune district of western Maharashtra state, hatched the plan late last year with a local jeweler friend.“We were thinking, is there something different we could do with gold? What has no one done before?” he said.
At 3.32 kilograms (7.3 pounds), the end product is so hefty Phuge said he had asked Guinness World Record to recognize his shirt as being the heaviest.
He only wears it for special occasions, along with numerous flashy gold accessories. The rest of the time the shirt is locked up at home.
His fashion choice may sound ostentatious in a country where an estimated 42 percent of children under five are malnourished, but Phuge is adamant that “it is my property, it does not matter what other people think or say.”
He seems delighted that the shirt, with its six Swarovski crystals for buttons and matching gold belt, has brought him his 15 minutes of fame.
Phuge, a grandfather who runs a finance company, also says he is a keen social worker and harbors ambitions to go into politics.
Showy displays of gold have become something of a trend in the area, started by late local politician Ramesh Wanjale who became known as the “gold man” around Pune — a title Phuge seems keen to inherit.
“Everybody knows me as the ‘gold man’ in the whole region. Other rich people spend one crore (10 million rupees) to buy Audis or Mercedes, to buy what they like. What crime have I done? I just love gold,” he said.
India is the world’s biggest consumer of gold, with purchases an essential part of religious festivals and weddings.
But faced with a rising import bill, the government has sought to discourage buying by raising import duty by 50 percent.
Indians bought 933.4 tons of gold in 2011, the last year for which complete data is available, according to the World Gold Council.


Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

The bronze bust on top of the monument at the tomb of German revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx, a Grade I-listed monument, is seen in Highgate Cemetery in north London on February 5, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 17 February 2019
0

Karl Marx memorial vandalized in London for second time

  • German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life

LONDON: The memorial of German philosopher Karl Marx has been vandalized in London for the second time in two weeks, the cemetery that manages the site said on Saturday.
The words “architect of genocide,” “terror and oppression” and “mass murder” were written in red paint on the grave in the capital’s Highgate cemetery.
“Doctrine of hate” was also scrawled on the memorial, among other slogans.
The grave of Marx, who developed the theory of international communism, was also attacked on February 4 when it was seemingly struck several times with a blunt metal instrument.
A marble plaque with the names of Marx and his family — the monument’s oldest and most fragile part — was repeatedly hit.
“Vandals back at Marx Memorial, Highgate Cemetery. Red paint this time, plus the marble tablet smashed up,” tweeted Highgate Cemetery on Saturday alongside photos of the memorial covered in red paint.
“Senseless. Stupid. Ignorant. Whatever you think about Marx’s legacy, this is not the way to make the point,” it said.
German revolutionary philosopher Marx moved to London in 1849 and lived in the city for the rest of his life.
His theories became the basis for communism. He died on March 14, 1883, aged 64.
The granite slab monument in north London, 12 feet (3.7 meters) tall and topped with a bronze bust of Marx, was funded in 1956 by the Communist Party of Great Britain.