The Golden Mask!

Written by on 06/07/2020

Sarah McPhee from NEWS.COM.AU

An Indian man who paid thousands of dollars for a custom gold face mask to protect him from COVID-19 says he isn’t sure it will prevent him from contracting the infectious disease.

Businessman Shankar Kurhade, from the western city of Pune, spent 289,000 rupees or $A5574 on the detailed face covering.

The 49-year-old said it took craftsmen eight days to make the mask from the precious metal.

“It is a thin mask and has tiny pores that is helping me to breathe,” he told Agence France-Presse.

“I am not sure if it will be effective to protect me from a coronavirus infection but I am taking other precautions.”

Back in April, India made the wearing of face masks mandatory for people outside the home.

Shankar Kurhade posing with his mask in Pune, India on Saturday, July 4. Picture: Sanket Wankhade

Shankar Kurhade posing with his mask in Pune, India on Saturday, July 4. Picture: Sanket WankhadeSource:AFP

When going out, Mr Kurhade said he likes to adorn himself with gold jewellery weighing one kilogram including a bracelet, necklace and rings on each finger of his right hand.

He told the AFP he got the idea for the gold mask after seeing a media report about a man wearing one made from silver.

“People are asking me for selfies,” he said.

“They are awe-struck when they see me wearing the gold mask in markets.”

The Indian Express reports Mr Kurhade, from the industrial township of Pimpri-Chinchwad, said he “didn’t do it for publicity”.

“I’m fond of gold,” he said.

“It is not the gold or cloth mask, but social distancing and hand washing that will protect human beings from coronavirus.”

Businessman Datta Phuge became known as India’s “gold man” in 2012 when he had a shirt made from 14,000 pieces of 22-carat gold, totalling almost 3.5kg.

It was worth 12.7 million rupees, or around $240,000 at the time, and put together by 15 craftsmen over 16 days.

However in 2016, Mr Phuge was bludgeoned to death by a group of people over a suspected monetary dispute.

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