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Davos to install permanent statue of Mahatma Gandhi

Last updated on: February 10, 2011 13:20 IST

Davos to install permanent statue of Mahatma Gandhi

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Annie Samson in New Delhi


Spurred by the popularity of Mahatma Gandhi at the recent World Economic Forum, which displayed statues of the Indian leader at various venues, the Davos city council has approved setting up a permanent Gandhi monument there.

"Indian artists Ram Sutar and Anil Sutar are working with The Itinerant Museum of Art to create a Gandhi monument for Davos to make the Mahatma the 'Spirit of Davos' as approved by the City Council of Davos," Fernando Morales-de la Cruz, museum founder told PTI.

The Basel-based museum, which has acquired a collection of statues of the Bapu and is organising exhibits at the European Parliament in Brussels, in Strasbourg in France, home to the Council of Europe among others, says it aims "to bring Gandhi's message and teachings through Gandhi inspired art to all corners of the world."

At Davos a total of 8 fibreglass statues of Gandhi in various poses spinning the chakra, walking, smiling and surrounded by children put up across different venues were the cynosure of all eyes with various Indian and world dignitaries and visitors queuing up to get themselves photographed with them.

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Image: A statue of Mahatma Gandhi.

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Davos to install permanent statue of Mahatma Gandhi

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The Davos city council has approved a statue of Gandhi along with his friend Albert Einstein created by Noida-based sculptor Ram Sutar and  unveiled by Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at the Gandhi-Einstein Peace Place there on January 29, the death anniversary of the Indian leader.

"We had created sculptures of Gandhi-ji and Albert Einstein and taken it to Brussels last year. Everybody liked it and Fernando approached us and suggested since Mahatma and Einstein were friends why not make a statue with both of them together," says Anil Sutar, the younger of the father-son artist duo.

Incidentally, it was Einstein who in 1928 had inaugurated the first conference in Davos that brought together top scientists and intellectuals from Europe.

He opened the Davos Academic Courses (Davoser Hochschulkurse) with a speech on sciences, but also on understanding -- the only way to peace.

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Image: Artist Ram Sutar receiving an award in Stockholm.

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Davos to install permanent statue of Mahatma Gandhi

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According to Fernando, "If Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Einstein were still alive, today both would be leading the debates in Davos concerned about the state of the world."

Meanwhile, the proposed statue in bronze of the two legends is expected to be installed in Davos next year and currently the museum is scouting for sponsors, says Anil who is also an architect.

Anil's father, 84-year-old Ram Sutar began sculpting in 1947 and his statues of Mahatma Gandhi stand in plazas in more than 50 cities in all continents.


Image: A collection of Gandhi statues. Also seen in the picture is Ram Sutar.

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