Rare stucco statue put on show

Nearly 1,700 years after a life size stucco Bodhisattva was created by craftsmen at Phanigiri at the peak of Ikshavaku dynasty rule, the 1.74-metre statue was put on display here on Monday.

Brown and white fragments of the statue covered with soil were laid out on two tables at the State Museum at Gunfoundry.

“We unearthed this statue on April 26, and in three days, we shifted it here for safe keeping. This is a stucco statue and lot of soil and earth has accreted to the figure. We were worried it would get damaged due to rain and hence, shifted it quickly,” said Sunita Bhagwat of Department of Archaeology and Museums, pointing to the statue of a muscular figure with parts of the face and hip covered in soil.

Officials said it is one of the rare life-size figures in stucco to be unearthed in India. “I suspect the statue was built in a standing position and later collapsed face down. We were surprised during excavation as one piece after another was flipped over around 3 p.m. on April 26 at Phanigiri,” said M.A. Srinivasan, who was part of the team that discovered the statue.

“Our priority is to mend it and ensure there is no further damage. We are in touch with conservation experts to see how best we can protect it and later put it on display,” said Ms. Bhagwat.

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Printable version | May 5, 2021 1:40:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/rare-stucco-statue-put-on-show-at-museum/article26985559.ece

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