Wealthy Hindus back Dome

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The Independent Online
ONE OF Britain's wealthiest Hindu families has come to the rescue of the religious area of the Millennium Dome by underwriting the pounds 6m Spirit Zone.

The four brothers of the Hinduja family, who dipped into their estimated pounds 1.2bn fortune to help to build the Swaminarayan Hindu temple in Neasden, north London, are prepared to pledge millions to ensure the Spirit Zone is built.

The eldest of the four brothers, Srichand, 58, told Radio 4's Today programme why they had decided to save the beleaguered zone. "Our family believe that multicultural understanding is the biggest issue of the world. Hindus or Christians, we're all human beings."

Until yesterday the Spirit Zone, one of 14 exhibitions, had appeared doomed through lack of sponsorship. But the Lambeth Group, a multifaith group that meets at intervals to consider all religious aspects of the Millennium celebrations, was still being cautious.

A spokesman said: "What we are concerned about is whether the sponsors, be they the Hinduja brothers or anyone else, want to change the design brief to suit their brief."