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India Starts Building 'World’s Tallest Statue'

A video grab shows an artist's rendering of the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, dubbed the "Statue of Unity," to be constructed in the western Indian state of Gujarat, in a handout provided by the Information Department Gujarat State.
India is beginning construction on what is planned to be the world's tallest statue.

It will stand four times as tall as the Statue of Liberty in New York, which is 46 meters tall but sits on a pedestal of equal height.

The Statue of Unity should rise 182 meters from a rocky river island in western Gujarat state and will cost some $300 million.

It will be made out of melted-down metal, especially old farming equipment.

The statue is a tribute to Sadar Patel, the first home minister of independent India, nicknamed the "Iron Man."

Opposition leader Narendra Modi, the prime ministerial candidate for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is to lay the foundation stone on October 31, Patel's birthday.

The statue has been criticized as an extravagance in a country where one-third of the population lives in poverty.

It is being paid for by the Gujarat government and public donations.

Based on reporting by AFP, "The Times of India," and Reuters