€226m statue for one of India's poorest states
Published 18/06/2011 | 05:00
INDIA is to spend more than €226m on building the world's tallest statue, despite fierce criticism that the money would be better spent reducing poverty.
Gujarat in western India used a full-page advertisement in 'The Economist' to announce its plans to build a towering memorial to Sardar Patel, India's first home secretary and deputy prime minister, who is regarded as the unsung hero of the independence movement.
The "Statue of Unity" will be 597ft high, dwarfing the world's current tallest statue, China's 420ft Spring Temple Buddha, and towering above New York's 151ft Statue of Liberty.
Charity groups said the statue was a waste of money, which could instead be used to help the 3.6m Gujaratis officially living below India's poverty line on less than a euro per day. (© Daily Telegraph, London)