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Muslim-majority Indonesia gifts Saraswati statue to US capital Washington

Washington, Jun 9: Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, has gifted the imposing 16 feet statue of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of education and wisdom, to the American Capital city
muslim majority indonesia gifts saraswati statue...
PTI June 09, 2013 18:23 IST
Washington, Jun 9: Indonesia, the country with the largest Muslim population in the world, has gifted the imposing 16 feet statue of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of education and wisdom, to the American Capital city of Washington DC.



The statue of goddess Saraswati on top of a lotus flower, stand tall a block away from the Indian Embassy in front of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi which was installed several years ago.

Little over a mile from the White House, the statue is yet to be formally inaugurated, but has already become an attraction of city residents and the large number of tourists who visit the city every day.

"Dewi Saraswati is one of the Goddesses in Hinduism, the primarily practiced religion among Balinese people in Indonesia, which itself is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country.

Yet, her representation at the Indonesian Embassy was not decided out only of any religious grounds, but more on its symbolized values that parallel with several key principles of Indonesia-US relations under comprehensive partnership, in particular education and people-to-people contact," a spokesperson of the Indonesian Embassy told PTI.

A cultural gift from Indonesia to the city of Washington, DC, this statue began to be constructed mid-April this year by five native Balinese sculptors led by I Nyoman Sudarwa, wrapped up the job in a mere five-week period.

"Although the official inscription is yet to be honored, the public can readily enjoy this 4.9-meter tall statue today by the entrance to the Embassy building on Massachusetts Avenue," the spokesperson said.
 

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