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Monolith spotted in Mumbai: Sculptor behind the mysterious monoliths explains their purpose and why she remains anonymous

In an email interview, the anonymous artist behind these monoliths in India, said, “The purpose of this monolith, just like the several that have cropped up around the world, is to spark a conversation about wildlife conservation.”

Written by Benita Fernando | Mumbai |
Updated: March 10, 2021 10:56:00 pm
Mysterious monolith spotted at Bandra's Joggers Park . (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

Since November 2020, when a monolith mysteriously appeared in Utah, USA, similar structures have popped up elsewhere across the world. On Wednesday morning, Mumbai woke up to find a monolith stationed inside Joggers’ Park in Bandra. The three-sided structure, made of polished stainless steel, was marked with geographical coordinates for notable national parks across the country like Ranthambore, Kaziranga and Gir.

In an email interview, the anonymous artist behind these monoliths in India, said, “The purpose of this monolith, just like the several that have cropped up around the world, is to spark a conversation about wildlife conservation.”

Since their appearance last year, the monoliths piqued people’s curiosity due to their abstract shape, unknown origin and connection to Stanley Kubrick’s film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The mystery monoliths have made appearances in France, Germany, Romania and Morocco, among other countries. In India, the monolith debuted in a park in Ahmedabad in December last year. According to the artist, a woman sculptor, the monoliths are reminders that it is essential to protect our natural habitat, adding that she chose Joggers’ Park in Mumbai for its “location and accessibility”.

With focus on environment and wildlife conservation, could the sculpture have been a better fit at ecologically important places like Aarey Forest or Worli Koliwada, which have been affected by infrastructure projects? “Joggers Park was chosen because it has a great open space and is easily accessibile to the public,” the artist replied. She also said that the team at the park are “lovely people to work with” and encourage art, nature, and the environment.

It is not known for how long the monolith will be parked in Mumbai or where it’s off to next. Bandra municipal councillor tweeted the appearance of the monolith, saying, “Don’t know how long it will be there but can’t wait to get a picture with it.”

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The artist said she has to remain anonymous to keep the focus on the message of the monoliths. However, she clarified that she is “part of a global creative movement” and that “the beauty of the monolith series that have cropped up around the world is that they are not all by the same artists”.

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