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The graphic: The world’s tallest warrior

The foundation stone of the Shivaji Memorial has been laid on a man-made island off the coast of Mumbai. When completed, it will be the world’s tallest statue. But just how tall is it?

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Illustration: Daniel Bright

The Shivaji Memorial

1 // Due in 2019, memorial will depict Chhatrapati Shivaji, a 17th-century warrior and founder of the Maratha Empire who’s revered in his home state of Maharashtra. It’s the work of sculptor Ram Sutar, 92, and his son Anil.

2 // The statue will be built off Mumbai on an artificial island located two miles from Girgaum Chowpatty beach, in the Arabian Sea. Other proposed facilities include four jetties, a theatre, library and food court.

3 // A similarly ambitious project is underway in Gujarat. The Statue of Unity is a 597ft bronze statue of Indian independence hero Sardar Patel, which, if completed before 2019, will itself be the world’s tallest — for a short time at least.

In numbers

630ft // the expected combined height of the statue and its platform

36bn rupees // the estimated cost of construction

1,700 tonnes // the amount of bronze The Times of India claims will be needed

The world’s most famous statues

Venus de Milo
Named for the Greek island of Milos, where she was discovered in 1820, the 6ft 8in marble model in Paris’ Louvre is now thought to be of sea goddess Amphitrite — not Venus, deity of love.

Lincoln Memorial
Unveiled in 1914, the seated statue is 19ft tall, but if Lincoln were to stand up he’d be 28ft high. The 36 Greek-influenced columns around him represent the union states at the time of his death.

David
Michelangelo’s 17ft biblical giant slayer is visited in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia by over eight million tourists a year, a footfall that sends tiny tremors through the oft-restored statue.

The Motherland Calls
Memorialising the Battle of Stalingrad, Russia’s 279ft concrete memorial was modelled on a local Volgograd girl. A hasty construction in 1967 and rising water levels have since caused it to lean.

Published in the May 2017 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)