The world's tallest statue dwarfs Lady Liberty & Madiba

11 November 2018 - 00:00 By Elizabeth Sleith


The World's Tallest Statue has been unveiled in India - and it's so enormous that the Nelson Mandela statue at the Union Buildings would fit into it more than 20 times.
The bronze-clad Statue of Unity, dedicated to India's first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875-1950), stands in a remote corner of India's westernmost state of Gujarat. At 182m, it has bumped the Spring Temple Buddha in China, formerly the world's tallest statue at 128m, into number two. Patel, who was born in Gujarat, was a key player in India's struggle for independence and instrumental in uniting the nation after British colonial rule ended in 1947.
The Statue of Unity was dedicated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31, the 143rd anniversary of Patel's birth.
The statue was commissioned in 2010 and designed by 93-year-old Ram Vanji Sutar, who has sculptures all over the world, including several political figures in the Indian Parliament complex in New Delhi, and statues of Mahatma Gandhi from the US to Canada and Australia.
Architects have noted that the Statue of Unity's feet were a particular feat. Unlike most of the other tall statues in the world, which have broad bases, the Statue of Unity is slender at the base, due to its subject being depicted in a walking pose. The gap between the feet is an astounding 6.4m.
The total height of the structure, including its base, is 240m: the base is 58m and the statue itself 182m. The base houses a memorial garden and a museum.
DID YOU KNOW? The tallest figurative bronze statue of Nelson Mandela is the one at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. It is 9m high.
The tallest Mandela memorial, however, is Marco Cianfanelli's steel construction at the capture site near Howick in KwaZulu Natal. It is 9.48m tall.
The tallest statue in Africa is the 49m African Renaissance Monument in Dakar, Senegal.

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