Paying a tribute to freedom icon and the first deputy prime minister of India Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on his 143rd birth anniversary, PM Narendra Modi is set to unveil the Statue of Unity on Wednesday, October 31.
The statue designed by sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, is located near the Narmada Dam in Gujarat and has been built at a cost of Rs 2,989 crore. It is the tallest statue in the in world at 597 feet (182 metres) — twice the height of the Statue of Liberty and 177 feet higher than China's Spring Temple Buddha, which is the current tallest.
Who is Ram Vanji Sutar?
- Ram Vanji Sutar is a renowned Indian sculptor born on February 19, 1925, in Gondur, in the Dhulia district of Maharashtra.
- He works out of a workshop in Noida and has designed and created over 50 sculptors in a career spanning 40 years.
- He is known to have restored several ancient sculptures in the Ajanta and Elora caves.
- His first notable creation was the 45 feet Chambal monument at the Gandhi Sagar Dam, in Madhya Pradesh.
- Sutar's most well-known creation is the bust of Mahatma Gandhi, copies of which were presented by the Government of India to several countries such as France, Italy, Russia, and England to name a few.
- In fact, Gandhi is known to be his most frequent muse and he has also created another 17-feet high statue of him in a meditation pose.
- Speaking of the number of statues he has been requested to make until now, Sutar told the Times of India: "Governments come and go but their love for statues remains. I can't even recall how many governments I have worked for to provide the sculptures of their leaders. But I do remember the story behind each sculpture I have made and why they are unique in their own way."
- The-93-year-old is said to have done a lot of research for the Patel statue and went through 2,000 images of the leaves to get the features perfect, reported News18.
- Sutar was honoured with the Padma Shri in 1999, and the Padma Bhushan in 2016.
- He is married to Pramila and the couple has a son Anil Sutar, who is also a sculptor. He holds a master's degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Washington University.