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The New World's Tallest Statue Makes Lady Liberty Seem Tiny

PMOIndia - Twitter

In the world of giant national monuments, you have to go big, or go home.

And while America's 300-foot tall Statue of Liberty is a national icon, it just doesn't measure up to India's new record-breaking statue.

The country has just unveiled a 600-foot tall monument to one of its former leaders - well, 597 feet, in fact, but who's counting?

And although the enormous statue is impressive, it won't be the world record holder for very long.

"The Iron Man"

Narendra Modi Statue of Unity
India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, poses with the 600-foot Statue of UnityPMOIndia - Twitter

India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, presented the impressive 60-story monument to the world in an opening ceremony week.

The big man is the Indian independence leader and the country's first Home Minister, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and he's overlooking the Narmada River near his birthplace in Gujarat.

But the world will probably remember the monument by its symbolic name, The Statue of Unity.

Statue of Unity
The statue is made of iron and bronze, and weight 65,000 tonnes.PMOIndia - Twitter

Patel was one of the early campaigners to unite India's hundreds of small states into one country. And in a twist, the man called India's "Iron Man" is now cast in bronze.

To keep with the theme of uniting the country, the statue was built using iron from farm supplies and soil from villages across India.

The 67,000-ton statue was even partly crowdfunded, with ordinary Indians chipping in part of its $400 million budget.

A museum, amusement park, and garden are planned to be built near the statue for tourists.

World's Tallest Statue
The statue of unity's height (in meters) compared to the Spring Temple Buddha in China, the Statue of Liberty, and other famous statues.Anna Frodesiak - Wikimedia

In case you're wondering, the new statue absolutely dwarfs New York City's Statue of Liberty.

If you include Lady Liberty's pedestal in her height, Patel stands twice as tall as her. But without the stand, the statue is just 151 feet tall, or four times shorter than India's new monument.

Small World, Big Statues

The Statue of Unity took the top spot from another massive Asian statue, a 420-foot tall monument of Buddha from the Spring Temple in Lushan, China.

Buddha Statue
Most of the world's tallest statues are of Buddha or important Buddhist figures.Cabby329 - Wikimedia

Note that the Spring Temple Buddha is sometimes listed at 502 feet tall, since there's no agreement about whether a statue's pedestal should or shouldn't count towards its total height.

Buddha is actually a a staple on the list of the world's tallest statues, as the religious figure or another Buddshit icon is depicted in eight of the world's 10 tallest monuments.

Buddhist statues make up eight of the world's 10 highest statues.Wagaung / Sandunruki - Wikimedia

Statues of Buddhas in Myanmar, Japan, and Thailand are close behind the Spring Temple statue, while Russia's 279-foot statue of a winged woman representing the country stands out.

While the Statue of Liberty is a global icon, it's far down the list, behind much less famous monuments like Senegal's African Renaissance Monument and the Virgin of Peace in Venezuela.

Statue of Liberty Comparison
The Statue of Liberty is America's largest, but it's nothing next to other giant statues.William Warby / David Rojo - Wikimedia

And while the Christ the Redeemer statue of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil looks impressive, it's just 100 feet tall. That's 20 feet shorter than Poland's statue Jesus the King, which hasn't been featured in nearly as many movies of TV shows as the Brazilian monument.

Christ the Redeemer Statue
Christ the Redeemer is not the world's tallest statue of Jesus.Gustavo Facci - Wikimedia

While the Statue of Unity is enjoying the world's top spot for now, another statue from India is already aiming to break its record.

Work is underway on a statue of the warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Mumbai, and it's set to be 695 feet tall.

[H/T: HuffPost]

What do you think of India's new statue?

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