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The World’s Largest Statue Was Just Unveiled

It is very large.

It’s a big week for brand new gigantic things coming into existence. In more large news, India has unveiled the Statue of Unity this week, which now holds the record for the world’s tallest statue. The gigantic bronze structure pays homage to Vallabhbhai Patel, a leader of the Indian independence movement and the country’s first deputy prime minister.

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Positioned in the western state of Gujarat, and overlooking the Narmada River, the statue stands tall at 597 feet, about twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, which stands at 305 feet, including the base. It’s dethroned the Spring Temple Buddha in Lushan, China, which held the previous title for world’s tallest at 420 feet.

The very, very large statue was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on what would have been Patel’s 143rd birthday (also called National Unity Day), and was designed by Ram V. Sutar.

The statue comes amidst much controversy, however, as it’s seen by many as an attempt by the government to rewrite political history. Many farmers and tribal communities also protested its existence, calling it a waste of money, natural resources, and land.

That statue won’t hold the title for long, however. There’s another, even larger statue on the way. India plans to erect another extremely tall statue, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Memorial, in 2021—which will stand around 695-feet. This statue will pay tribute to a warrior king who founded the Maratha Kingdom.

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Rounding out the rest of the top ten largest statues in the world are the following massive fellows:

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2. Spring Temple Buddha, China, 420 feet

Now holding the title of the second-largest statue in the world, the Spring Temple Buddha was completed in 2008.

3. Laykyun Setkyar, Myanmar, 380 feet

The third-tallest statue in the world was also completed in 2008. As it has an elevator inside, it still holds the record for the world’s largest statue with an elevator inside of it (not an actual world record, but an honorable mention, nonetheless).

4. Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan, 360 feet

Constructed entirely of bronze, this statue also has an elevator inside of it, where visitors can be brought up to multiple levels.

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5. Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, China, 354 feet

Guan Yin is the Buddhist Goddess of Compassion. She has three different faces and took six full years to complete.

6. Emperors Yan and Huang, China, 347 feet

These massive sculptures honoring two Chinese emperors took over 20 years to complete. The eyes alone are ten feet wide.

7. Sendai Daikannon, Japan, 328 feet

Another statue containing an elevator, this one commemorates the Japanese Buddhist Bodhisattva. Visitors can see the entire city of Sendai from the top of it.

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8. Peter the Great statue, Russia, 315 feet

The statue weighs 100 tons, and has been around since 1997. It honors Russian emperor Peter I.

9. Great Buddha of Thailand, Thailand, 301 feet

This large Buddha statue, made completely of cement covered in gold, took 18 years to complete.

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10. Grand Buddha at Lingshan, China, 288 feet

Made of bronze and weighing 700 tons, this particular Buddha statue covered around 74 acres of land.

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