In India, things are looking up! After years of work, the world’s tallest statue is finally complete. The Statue of Unity in Gujarat, India, stands 787 feet high. That’s two-and-a-half times as tall as the Statue of Liberty (see graph, below).
The massive structure sits on an island in the middle of a river in the western part of the country. It shows Vallabhbhai Patel. He helped India gain its independence from the United Kingdom in 1947 and served as its first deputy prime minister.
Officials hope that the statue—which took 4,000 laborers three years to build—will attract millions of tourists per year. But not everyone is convinced all the work will pay off.
Many locals say the $400 million project was a waste of public money that is badly needed elsewhere. Although India’s economy has boomed in the past quarter century, about 20 percent of the population still lives on less than $2 a day.