Father-son duo to design Chhatrapati Shivaji statue for mid-sea memorial

The sculptor Ram Vanji Sutar, son Anil also sculpting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue

Written by Dipti Singh | Mumbai | Published: December 24, 2016 3:10:09 am
(Right) Anil Sutar and Ram Vanji Sutar with a replica of the statue. Express (Right) Anil Sutar and Ram Vanji Sutar with a replica of the statue. Express

A father-son duo based in Noida near the national capital, who bagged the contract for making Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue for Gujarat, will be designing and sculpting the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to be set up mid-sea. The sculptors Ram Vanji Sutar (92) and his son Anil (59) of the Ram Sutar Art Creations Private Ltd have till date designed and sculpted three statues of Shivaji for different projects.

Stating that they are emotionally attached to this project, touted to be the world’s tallest mid-sea memorial, Ram Vanji says the “statue will create history”. A Maharashtrian born in a small village named Gondur some three kilometres from Dhule in Maharashtra, he said it’s a privilege of a lifetime for him and his firm to be associated with this project.

Despite being 92 years old, Ram Sutar has been working day and night and spends almost eight to 10 hours working on these two ambitious projects he claims to be emotionally attached to. “I have been working with my father for the last 22 years now and we work as a team,” said Anil Sutar, explaining their style of functioning.

The 210-metre-high memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Statue of Unity will be installed on a patch of rock spread over

16 hectares in the middle of the Arabian Sea. The idea was first discussed in 1995, during the tenure of the BJP-Shiv Sena government. It had been pending for years since and gained momentum during the last Congress-NCP government. However, the BJP too used the issue during the 2014 election campaign.

While both the projects are very ambitious politically, the statue of Patel in Gujarat has been very close to PM Narendra Modi himself. “We are now waiting for tenders to be floated for contractors with whom we will be working with. Otherwise our design is ready and approved. Apart from the replica, we have also prepared the framework of the statues made of thermacol and plaster of Paris at our workshop,” said Anil Sutar.

According to the Sutars, the monument from the sea level till the tip of the sword of the warrior king is 689 feet (210 metres) high, however the statue alone mounted on the horse will be 395-feet high from the base of the statue to the tip of the sword.

The monument of Patel in Sardar Sarovar is 607 feet (158 metres) high from the sea level. The statue (which will be standing) is 522 feet and will be erected on a 85 feet long building.

Anil Sutar said, “Keeping in mind the climate of Mumbai, the Shivaji statue will be made up of bronze and will have nearly

88 per cent copper. We have designed the dynamics of this statue keeping in mind the concept that Shivaji Maharaj’s greatness and bravery has to be showcased through this statue. Hence, the statue will be mounted on a horse with a sword in the warrior king’s hand.”

The statue, which will take at least two years to be completed, will have an elevator that will take the tourists from within the statue’s body till the top of the statue. “Tourists who wish to get a glimpse of the Nariman Point, Marine Drive and Mumbai’s skyline will be able to do so. Currently as per the design, tourists will be able to travel till the chest of the statue from the museum hall under the statue through the elevator,” added Anil Sutar.

Meanwhile, Sutar said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s statue to be erected in Gujarat will take another two years to complete.

“Around 40 per cent bronze casting and 60 per cent thermacol frame is completed for that statue. We are speeding up the work, still it will need some more time,” said Anil Sutar.

Ram Sutar is a gold medallist from the J J School of Arts and has made more than 200 sculptures in 60 years. Many of the statues made by him and his son adorn the Parliament House in New Delhi, including the 16-feet-high Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in meditating pose, 18-feet-high statues of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and many other personalities.

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