Sculpting of world’s largest jade Buddha begins in northern Vietnam

State President Nguyen Minh Triet and former Party chief Le Kha Phieu January 18 symbolically polished a giant jade block to start the sculpting of the world’s largest jade Buddha in the northern province of Hai Duong.

President Nguyen Minh Triet and former Party Chief Le Kha Phieu polish a jade block as sculpting of the world’s  largest jade Buddha idol began in the northern province of Hai Duong January 18 ( Photo: SGGP)

Dao Trong Cuong, vice director of the Vietnam Gem and Jewelry Institute and director of the Than Chau Ngoc Viet Gem-made Painting Company had bought the 35-ton block, also the world’s biggest, at a gemstone fair in Myanmar.

Fifty skilled artisans from the company will join hands with foreign experts to sculpt the idol which is expected to take two to three years and cost US$800,000.

The idol will weigh nearly 16 tons and be three high and two meters wide. The world’s current largest Buddha idol is 2.5m tall and weighs 3.9 tons.

Mr. Cuong was the artist behind the gem portraits of the leaders of the 21 member economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum who attended the 2006 APEC Summit in Hanoi.

The Vietnam Buddhist Sangha’s patriarch, the Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue, and hundreds of Buddhist monks held a prayer-meeting before work began on the statue.

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By V. Xuan - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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