Art does not belong to any one country
About myself and the project
I grew up in a family of stone masons. Thanks to my grandad’s passion and expertise, to this day, I still have a working knowledge of the different types of stones, and an eye for what a finished product should look like. I am the current Mill Road Traders’ Association Ambassador in Cambridge UK, and my goal is to engage not only with the traders, but with the whole community.
In March 2021, by chance I heard about work taking place at the former Hindu temple, and because I am a “curious person,” I spoke to the site manager about taking a look around. He kindly invited me in, and I was so surprised to see before me a majestic stone archway. I was just so fascinated by its intricate Indian craftmanship. I was then shocked to then hear that it was due to be dumped in a skip that same day. I shouted: “It is sacrilege!”
I couldn’t get out of my mind, all the years of hard work that were put into the stone masons carving it, and the Hindu community having it shipped from India to the UK, were just going to go to waste. So, I started my mission to save this unique piece of art, as I shared the urgent need to rescue it with the Chair and trustees of the Mill Road Traders’ Association. They all supported my desire to raise the required money to pay for the safe dismantling and relocating of the stone archway.
So far, I have managed to successfully crowdfund enough money to pay for the stone archway to be safely dismantled and be stored in a safe place. It has been amazing to receive donations from the whole community, from Hindus, Muslims, Christians, atheists, and all accompanied by supportive messages.
Cambridgeshire County Council was also very supportive in transferring the ownership of the stone archway to the Mill Road Traders’ Association, and now Cambridge City Council has indicated its willingness to find a home for the stone archway to be displayed on Mill Road.
With your further help, I would like to give this monument a second chance. I want to honour the efforts of those that originally carved, commissioned and shipped it, as we enable this magnificent stone archway, to stand on display once again.
This is an opportunity for us all to work together, to build something beautiful, to be enjoyed for generations to come.
The History of the project
ICCA - Indian Community and Culture Association (Cambridge) - leased the Grade II listed Old Mill Road library circa. 1999, and renamed it Bharat Bhavan (House of India).
They then embarked on an extensive refurbishment project. These plans included adding an extravagant stone archway commissioned in Rajasthan, India. The completed stone works arrived in Cambridge circa May 2006. In the ensuing years, a number of community groups enjoyed using the space complete with the stunning stone archway.
Then in 2019, when ICCA was no longer able to sustain the lease of the building, the city council reclaimed the building, but did not have a vision for the stone archway, in their renovation plans.
The Cambridge Gateway
from India Project
The Cambridge Gateway from India Project was born out of Mill Road Traders’ Association (MRTA) resolving to not let the stunning stone archway be discarded, instead choosing to purchase it from the county council, for just £1.
Piero D’Angelico as Mill Road Traders’ Association Ambassador believes that whilst the stone archway may have a monetary value of £500,000, this is nothing compared to the enjoyment value that the local community and visitors would gain from being able to personally witness the beauty of the stone archway.
MRTA has therefore launched the Cambridge Gateway from India Project to crowdfund £20k, to enable the stone archway to be erected as a lasting monument, set in the public gardens, at the city council owned site of Ditchburn Place on Mill Road.
How can you get involved ?
For this vision to become a reality, it will require a wide-range of volunteers with different skills - from stone masons, builders, structural engineers, architects, landscapers, graphic designers, electricians, fundraisers, to website managers and designers.
If you would like to volunteer, then please get in touch by using the email link below.Email Us
If you would like to donate money to the project, then please visit our crowdfunding page.Donate Here