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India Opens $430M World's Tallest Statue

Thursday, November 8, 2018

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On Oct. 31, India unveiled its newest statute—the tallest statue in the world. Named the Statue of Unity, the 597-foot bronze giant depicts India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

“This statue is an answer to all those who question India’s power and might,” said India’s prime minister Narendra Modi during the opening ceremony.

The Statue

The work cost about 29.9 billion rupees ($430 million) and required 2,000 workers to erect. While the project had been in the works since 2010, construction took about three years and required 7,416,080 cubic feet of cement, 25,000 tons of steel, and 1,700 tons of bronze.

The statue stands on the remote Sadhu-Bet Island, which is more a rocky outcrop than a proper island thanks to the construction of the Sardar Sarovar Dam upstream, on the Naramada River.

The original design stemmed from artist and sculptor Ram Sutar, who first modeled the Statue of Unity as a 30-foot-tall “miniature” version in his workshop. This led to a full-size digital model, which was then divided into roughly equal-sized segments to form the outer “skin” of the structure.

Michael Graves Architecture & Design was brought on as the design architect for the project, which also includes a visitor’s center and a series of display halls dedicated to Sardar Patel and the history of India’s independence. And, at 500 feet, visitors can access the statue’s galleries and museum.

Mumbai-based firm Larsen & Toubro, which has been responsible for high-profile projects as New Delhi's International Airport and the Lotus Temple, constructed the massive statue, which sits twice as big as the Statue of Liberty.

The exterior of the statue is covered with a series of cast bronze micro-panels, arranged in a series of rings that are supported on the structural steel scaffolding that’s hung from the internal twin concrete cores.


Tagged categories: Asia Pacific; Color + Design; Color + Design; Design; Public spaces

Comment from Trevor Neale, (11/8/2018, 10:03 AM)

Trust the interior corrosion protection system will provide at least a life of 100 years for this magnificent structure.

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (11/9/2018, 8:01 AM)

Seems an awful lot like the galvanic coupling in the Statue of Liberty which caused corrosion issues (Steel/Bronze vs Iron/Copper). It would be interesting to learn in detail what corrosion protection steps they have taken.

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