October 22, Kathmandu: A Buddha statue worth US 21.6 million has been brought to Bhairahawa to be placed at the Gautam Buddha International Airport which is under construction.
The statue, made of precious metal ‘White Jade’, was brought to Bhairahawa from the Indian port of Kolkata via Myanmar and Hong Kong on Friday.
The idol was brought to the Bhairahawa customs premises on Thursday but the customs process was completed only on Friday.
The statue was provided to the Government of Nepal by the Government of Myanmar through the Lumbini Garden Foundation, said Tulsiram Lamichhane, Secretary of the Foundation.
Lamichhane clarified that the foundation and the government of Nepal did not have any cash investment as the statute was provided by a Myanmar mining company even though it cost Rs 2.5 billion.
“White jade stone is a precious stone. Even in Hong Kong, 1 gram of white jade stone costs 12 US dollars, but neither the foundation nor the government of Nepal has invested in the construction of the statue,” said Lamichhane.
Ekraj Giri, general secretary of the foundation, said that the foundation has borne the cost of transporting the idol for 12,000 US dollars while the government of Nepal has waived the customs duty.
The statue was built by the Malvin Group, a Myanmar-based mining company, for the Lumbini Garden Foundation in Spain.
The statue weighing 1,800 kilograms is scheduled to be unveiled by President Bidyadevi Bhandari at Gautam Buddha Airport on October 31.
The Buddha statue, which is 1.9 meters high and 60 centimeters wide, will be placed in the garden in front of the newly constructed terminal building. The airport project has already built a base for that.