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The Italian Architect

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It is believe of some european scholars that the design of Taj was intended by an Italian - Geronimo Veroneo. This view was first recommended by Father Manrique, an Augustinian Friar, who visited to Agra in 1640 A.D. to make safe the release of Father Antony who had been captive by the Mughals. In Lahore he met with Father Joseph de Castro, the architect 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.

All through, at the time in power of Jahangir, a goldsmith named Veroneo did in fact come to India and, as stated by Father Manrique, did die on his way to Lahore. He stayed for a time in Agra, and flourished there. He came in touch with many dominant Europeans throughout the North Indian provinces, and when he died, he was buried in the Christian cemetery of Padres Santos in Agra.

The hypothesis that Veroneo designed the Taj is fascinating and still finds occasional champions, especially in Italy. But the indications of evidence consider heavily against it. What is the fact between this fact and story is still undiscovered but true there is the testimony of Father Manrique, that- he was no more than a casual tourist who heard that the Taj had been built by an Italian.

Nevertheless, nowhere as well is mention about Veroneo's participation in planning the Taj Mahal. As a matter of fact, there is no evidence that Veroneo had any talent other than he was a good goldsmith. Some Europeans who were eyewitness the Taj under construction, never mentioned his name, and furthermore, it is hard to presume that an artist trained in seventeenth century Italy, the Italy of Bernini, could build a tomb that would typify Indo-Persian architecture.