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Art capital of Nepal unveils statue of legendary artist Arniko

Sep 23 2018 | 12:53 pm

By Shristi Kafle

LALITPUR: The full-length statue of renowned Nepali artist Arniko, who is also known as a national hero, was unveiled here on Saturday.

The statue has been constructed within the office premise of Lalitpur Metropolitan City, known as the city of fine arts, while the major tourism attraction Patan Durbar Square is based just a few km away.

Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari unveiled the grey-colored full body statue amid a special function participated by Culture and Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong, senior cultural experts, local government officials, among others.

Addressing the unveiling ceremony, Bhandari spoke highly of the contributions made by the greatest architect Arniko to introduce art in China and in the world.

“The renowned architect Arniko has made immense contributions to expand and strengthen the cultural relations between Nepal and our friend China. Nepal should always feel proud of his contributions, the president said in her speech.

Stating that art can boost cultural relations between any two countries, Bhandari also urged the local youths to follow the footsteps of Arniko to introduce the country into global sphere.

Arniko, who was born in Patan in Nepal in 13th century, visited China at the age of sixteen and showed his skills in casting statues and paintings in various places.

The historical books mention that he had impressed the Chinese emperor of Yuan dynasty Kublai Khan and others with his extraordinary skills in constructions and creations of arts and artifacts. He is mostly remembered and appreciated for building the White Pagoda in Beijing.

Adhikari said that Arniko’s artistic excellence had introduced Nepali arts and craftsmanship to other countries in the world.

“Arniko is a pride and identity of our country. This statue can be significant to attract more Chinese tourists in Lalitpur and in Nepal,” the minister said.

Yu Hong, Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, said, “The White Stupa in Beijing is a masterpiece of Arniko which is a perfect example of China-Nepal friendship.”

Satya Mohan Joshi, renowned culturist and centenarian, said that Arniko was the first cultural ambassador of Nepal, who overcame all geographical barriers and introduced the country’s identity to the world.

The statue, made by Lalitpur Metropolitan City in the honor of Arniko, is made up of bronze. The seven feet tall structure, which weighs around 180 kilograms, was created by Nepali sculpture artist Prakash Shakya.

“Since nobody knows the exact face of Arniko, I got some reference in inscriptions and consulted senior historians and cultural experts to create this statue. It took me eight months and I am very delighted to create this art piece,” 44-year-old Shakya said.

Cultural experts opine that more efforts are necessary from the government to explore the birth location and descendants of Arniko.

Dr Gautam Bir Bajracharya, a culture expert and a professor at Tribhuvan University, told Xinhua, “According to inscriptions, we can guess that Arniko was born here in Patan area in Shakya dynasty but we lack authentic information. Since he carries a rich history, the government should invest for research about him and his generation.”

Even after around 800 years, Arniko has earned such high appreciation in Nepal that many of the enterprises and companies have been operated in his name.

According to the Office of the Company Registrar under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, there are over 100 companies registered in the name of Arniko including highways, hospitals, hotels, schools, travel agencies, power companies, among others.

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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