Mittal's niece ties knot in big fat Spanish wedding

Mittal's niece ties knot in big fat Spanish wedding

The niece of one of the world's richest Indians, Lakshmi N Mittal, tied the knot in a lavish ceremony in the Spanish city of Barcelona at an estimated cost of 50 million pounds, triggering a controversy.

Shristi Mittal, the daughter of the billionaire steel tycoon's younger brother Pramod, got married to London-based HSBC investment banker Gulraj Behl in one of the Spanish city's most famous museums, the National Museum of Catalan Art, in a mix of Hindu and western ceremonies.

According to a report in the 'Sunday Times', an army of 200 butlers, cooks and secretaries was reportedly flown into Spain from India and Thailand and the 500 guests were made to sign confidentiality agreements.

Londoner Shristi studied at Columbia University in New York and now works for her father, who is also in the steel business.

The decision to host the three-day event between December 5 and 7 in Barcelona was apparently inspired by Pramod's passion for the city and his particular interest in the work of famous Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi.

The ceremonies and receptions started at the city's maritime museum, which costs more than 80,000 pounds to hire.

On the second day of the festivities the guests visited the Magic Fountain — a spectacular display of water jets and lights set to the Chariots of Fire theme — in the Montjuic district.
The tourist attraction's schedule was changed to accommodate the wedding party and a main access road to the area was closed to other traffic, the newspaper claimed.
Last Saturday, the public were barred from the National Museum of Catalan Art to allow the main ceremony to take place.

Jordi Marti, a leader of the Socialist party in Barcelona, accused the city council of "being fascinated by the smell of money". "Putting the city's public spaces at the service of private interests is simply unacceptable," he said.

Xavier Trias, Barcelona's mayor who had attended the wedding, defended his decision to host the big fat Indian extravaganza in the city to attract "economic activity" during a recession and to boost the city's profile.

The Mittal family has become synonymous with ostentatious weddings, kicked off when Lakshmi Mittal's daughter Vanisha got married in 2004.

It involved a week of festivities in and around Paris at a cost of about 40 million pounds, including a performance by popstar Kylie Minogue set to fireworks at the Eiffel Tower.
His son, Aditya Mittal, tied the knot at Kolkata's iconic Victoria Memorial in 1998, during which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan was reportedly paid 300,000 pounds to entertain the guests.

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