It’s not every day you come across sculptures that make the Statue of Liberty look small. But in more recent years dozens of immense statues have shot up all over the world demonstrating that – whatever their inherent symbolism – size does matter. Here is a selection of the most gigantic and awe inspiring effigies on the planet.
Ushiku Daibutsu, Japan
The Ushika Daibutsu was completed in 1993 and stands at a breathtaking 120 metres (394 feet). The bronze plated statue depicts Amitabha Buddha and weighs-in at a staggering 4003 tonnes. To put it in perspective, the hand alone is 18 metres long, while the raised arm and outward turned palm almost resemble the Argonath in Lord of the Rings. The statue itself houses a four storey museum and an observation floor 85 metres above the ground. On level 3, known as The World of the Lotus Sanctuary, 3,000 examples of gold Buddhas statues can be seen.
The Motherland Calls, Volgograd
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This terrifying looking statue of a woman was built to commemorate the notorious Battle of Stalingrad, in which an estimated two million people lost their lives. At the time it was dedicated in 1967, The Motherland Calls in Volgograd was the tallest statue in the world, measuring an impressive 85 metres (279 feet) from the tip of the sword to the plinth. While it has now been surpassed in height, it nevertheless remains one of the most chilling and serves as a warlike reminder that Russia is not to be trifled with.
The Spring Temple Buddha, Henan
The Spring Temple Buddha, somewhat more placid looking than the Russian example above, presiding over the Zhaocun township of Lushan County, Henan, China, is the tallest statue in the world. The statue itself is 128 metres tall (420 feet) not including pedestal, which stands a not insignificant 25 metres to the overall height. Plans for the project, which was completed in 2002, were announced after work had begun on the Maitreya Project, a proposed statue in India which is intended to last 1,000 years. The Spring Temple Buddha, which stands one metre higher than the Maitreya Project, was also announced soon after the blowing up of the Bamiyan Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan, which China has sharply criticised.
Peter the Great, Moscow
With the exception of the example above from Japan and other statues in Thailand and Cambodia, it certainly seems as if China and Russia have cornered the world market in enormous sculptures. The one above of Peter the Great, completed in 1997 to commemorate 300 years of the Russian Navy, is no exception. And like it’s contempories in Kiev and Volgograd, this intricate sculpture stands as a true leviathan of the concrete world. Created by Georgian designer Zurab Tsereteli, it is, at 94 metres, the seventh tallest statue on the planet.
Mother Motherland, Kiev, Ukraine (Top)
Built in 1981 by Yevgeny Vuchetich, this incredible statue is made of titanium and consequently weighs-in at an impressive 530 tonnes with an overall height of 102 metres. The shield in the left hand bears the coat of arms of the Soviet Union. Mother Motherland is part of the Museum of the Great Patriotic War, Kiev, which honours recipients of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Hero of Socialist Labor.