India has unveiled the world’s tallest statue: Statue of unity,the 182m (600ft) high structure in the western state of Gujarat is a bronze-clad tribute to independence leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.The Statue of unity dwarfs the 128-metre high Spring Temple Buddha in China, the world’s next-largest statue, and was built with iron gathered from around the country. Patel is often called the “Iron Man of India”.
Lifts have been installed to take up to 15,000 tourists each day to a viewing gallery about 152m high. The admission fee is 350 rupees.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the “Statue of unity” and “a symbol of India’s integrity and resolve.” which would serve as a major tourist attraction.
But locals say this is as a waste of public money and that the funds could have been put to better use.
Air Force planes showered flowers on the statue, which was designed by decorated Indian sculptor Ram V Sutar.
According to local reports, thousands of policemen have been deployed across the district, where protests over the effigy have turned violent. Police detained farmers and tribal activists during a protest on Tuesday.
The Gujarat government is reported to have paid more than half of the funds for the statue, while the remainder came from the federal government or public donations.
The memorial has been seen as a pet project of Mr Modi, who like Patel, was born in Gujarat. He commissioned the statue when he was the state’s chief minister in 2010.
It is nearly twice as tall as New York’s Statue of Liberty. And it has surpassed the height of the Spring Temple Buddha in China which, at 128m, was previously the tallest in the world.
Visitors can go up to the viewing gallery, which is located near the chest of the statue at a height of 153m.
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