Artist Creates Smallest Version Of World's Tallest Statue Of Sardar Patel

Work in full swing at the site of the Statue of Unity in Kevadia colony on Thursday for the unveiling ceremony

Work in full swing at the site of the Statue of Unity in Kevadia colony on Thursday for the unveiling ceremony

His remarks came after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the ' Statue of Unity' of Patel in Gujarat.

Recalling Patel's contribution in uniting the nation, Modi said the leader ensured "the merger of all princely states with the Dominion of India". Surya Kiran of the Air Force will perform aerobatics in the sky over the statue, while spreading the colours of the Indian flag in the sky. "Drones and helicopters will be keeping watch on the entire area", he told reporters. Giving stress on sports in nation building he said, "spirit, strength, skill and stamina are critical elements for sports as well as nation building". Also, folk dance performances from Punjab, Assam, Mizoram and Gujarat have been planned when PM Modi will dedicate the 182-metre tall statue at Kevadia Colony to the country.

The statue is part of a broader project by Modi to counter the opposition Indian National Congress Party's firm claim on India's history by way of the country's first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, his mentor, peace activist Mahatma Gandhi, and his daughter, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was assassinated by her guards in 1984.

Governor of Gujarat OP Kohli, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and BJP chief Amit Shah were present at the unveiling of the Statue of Unity.

"Events like today are very very important in a country's history and such events are hard to erase".

But Modi-inspired nationalists have sought to put him back in the forefront, with critics accusing them of appropriating his legacy.

Online booking to visit the Statue of Unity has opened, with a 350 rupee (£3.75) admission fee for the 153-metre high observation deck.

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Almost 100,000 tonnes of concrete and steel make up this giant Statue of Unity at a cost of $430 million (€378 million).

The statue, whose foundation was laid by Modi in 2013 as chief minister of Gujarat, will dwarf the current tallest statue, the Spring Temple Buddha in China (128m), and will be nearly double the height of the Statue of Liberty in NY.

Indian authorities hope the statue will attract 15,000 visitors a day to the remote corner of Gujarat, which is about 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the nearest city of Vadodora.

"In the world, people talk about America's Statue of Liberty".

More than 80 per cent of the local population are from tribal groups with special protected status. Local farmers are demanding compensation for land they say was taken by the government for a number of reasons, including the construction of the statue.

The Patel statue could, however, soon be topped by the 212-meter (696-foot) Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial commemorating a 17th-century Indian warrior king, which is set to open in Mumbai in 2021.

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