Called the Statue of Unity, the 597-foot-tall bronze depicts India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Unity, the 597-foot-tall bronze depicts India’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
Sarah Cascone, November 1, 2018
Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, unveiled the world’s tallest statue on Wednesday as military aircraft flew overhead and released flower petals and colored balloons in the shape of the Indian flag. The 597-foot-tall bronze sculpture, called the Statue of Unity, dwarfs the previous title holder, the 420-foot Spring Temple Buddha in China, and is roughly twice as big as New York City’s Statue of Liberty.
The massive monument depicts the country’s first deputy prime minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (1875–1950), and has been erected in his home state of Gujarat. Patel, who would have turned 143 yesterday, helped unite the modern state of India following Partition in 1947, earning him the nickname the “Iron Man of India.”
“This statue is an answer to all those who question India’s power and might,” said Modi during his remarks, calling the massive artwork “a symbol of India’s integrity and resolve,” and noting that “Patel converted India’s diversity into its biggest strength.”