Statue of Unity, which is twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in New York, is dedicated to ‘Iron man of India’ Sardar Patel.
Statue of Unity, which is twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty in New York, is dedicated to ‘Iron man of India’ Sardar Patel. The memorial is located near Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river in Gujarat. The statue is unique in many ways. Besides being the tallest in the world, it also has the distinction of being among landmark statues to completed in the shortest time. The 182-metre-tall Statue of Unity has been completed in just 33 months against Statue of Liberty that was completed in almost 10 years.
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Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty located on the New York Harbor’s Liberty Island in New York City was inaugurated on October 18, 1886. It was meant to represent freedom and democracy. Although the statue was co-funded with French and American money, it is said that the statue was a gift from France to the people of the US
Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, ran a crowd-funding campaign and raised more than $100,000 to help construct the statue. It was built by French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel.
The Statue of Liberty is a figure of a robed woman representing Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. She holds a torch in her right hand above her head. In her left hand, she carries a tabula ansata inscribed in Roman numerals with “JULY IV MDCCLXXVI” (July 4, 1776) — the date of the US Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet as she walks ahead. The statue is made of an inner framework of iron and a copper exterior. It is 93 metres high.
The French connection
In 1865, when France was divided between two groups with one supporting monarchy and other supporting Enlightenment ideals, French political thinker and US Constitution expert Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that a monument be built as a gift from Paris to America in order to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy and to honour late president Abraham Lincoln. Ten years later, French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi was assigned the task to design a sculpture with 1876 as a deadline to commemorate the 100 years of America’s Independence.
Watch video: About Statue of Unity
Laboulaye was of the view that by recalling the achievements of the United States, people in his country will be inspired to create their own democracy. The statue represents Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. It is widely believed that Bartholdi modelled the statue after his mother. However, others believe the statue’s face better resembles Bartholdi’s brother.
The granite pedestal of the statue was designed in 1884 by American architect Richard Morris Hunt. The financing for the pedestal was completed in August 1885 and its construction was finished in April 1886. The statue was carved in France in July 1884 and arrived in New York in June 1885. It was inaugurated on October 28 in 1886 by then President Grover Cleveland.
About US Independence Day
July 4 is a national holiday in the United States and observed as Independence Day commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. On this day, the Continental Congress had declared that the thirteen American colonies at war with Britain will regard themselves as free and independent states and were no longer under British rule. With the resolution for Independence which was actually passed on July 2, 1776, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States.
Statue of Unity
The Statue of Unity is dedicated to Sardar Patel. Once inaugurated, it will become the tallest statue in the world at 182 metres. The decision to keep the height at 182 metres was taken in order to match the total number assembly constituencies in Gujarat.
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The statue has been built by around 3,400 labourers. The statue is located near the Sardar Sarover Dam on Narmada river of Gujarat. Though the project was announced in 2010 by then Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, the groundbreaking ceremony was held on October 31 in 2013. The contract to construct the statue was given to Indian multi-national L&T next year. It has been built in just 33 months.