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Italian Architect


The Taj was designed by an Italian Architect
Some European scholars held the view that the Taj was designed by an Italian - Geronimo Veroneo. This was first suggested by Father Manrique, an Augustinian Friar, who came to Agra in 1640 A.D. to secure the release of Father Antony who had been imprisoned by the Mughals. It was in Lahore that he met Father Joseph de Castro, the executor of Veroneo who died at Lahore in 1640 A.D., and it was Castro who told him about "the Venetian by the name Geronimo Veroneo who came in the Portuguese ships and died in the city of Lahore before he reached it..."

During the reign of Jehangir, a goldsmith named Veroneo did in fact come to India and, as mentioned by Father Manrique, did die on his way to Lahore. He lived for a time in Agra, and prospered there. He knew many influential Europeans throughout the North Indian provinces, and when he died, he was buried in the Christian cemetery of Padres Santos in Agra.
Taj Mahal Agra
The theory that Veroneo designed the Taj is intriguing and still finds occasional champions, especially in Italy. But the scales of evidence weigh heavily against it. True there is the testimony of Father Manrique, but he was no more than a casual tourist who heard that the Taj had been built by an Italian.

However, nowhere else is mention made of Veroneo's participation in planning the Taj Mahal. As a matter of fact, there is no record that Veroneo had any skill other than that of working gold. Other Europeans who saw the Taj under construction never mentioned his name, and furthermore, it is difficult to suppose that an artist trained in seventeenth century Italy, the Italy of Bernini, could build a mausoleum that would typify Indo-Persian architecture. The Taj is not an isolated phenomenon, the creation of a single mastermind but the glorious consummation of a great epoch of art.

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