Bangalore-based team sculpts Anna memorial


 A sculptor associated with the extensive stoneworks at the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore has now sculpted in record time a memorial pillar for DMK founder C N Annadurai.

Unveiled on Saturday by DMK patriarch and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at Ponnerikarai on the outskirts of Kancheepuram, the birthplace of his political guru, the 40 feet high “Anna Ninaivu Thoon” (memorial pillar) transports a whiff of the neo-Dravidian style, also seen in the  Vidhana Soudha.

Senior DMK leaders were present when Karunanidhi unveiled the pillar as part of the party’s “Mupperum Vizha” crowning the Annadurai birth centenary celebrations.
“We did the entire work, including the stone carvings, in just 15 days, working day and night with 50 men,” Shankar Sthapathy, the Bangalore-based sculptor who headed the team, told Deccan Herald. He has a workshop in Bangalore and Kancheepuram, with his father, another famous sculptor, S M Ganapathy Sthapathy, involved in several temple renovation projects in the past in Kancheepuram.

The memorial resembles the Asoka Pillar, but it is modified to infuse the Dravidian architectural style and motifs. The cylindrical column alone measures 33 feet high, Sthapathy explained in a telephonic interview with Deccan Herald from Kancheepuram.

The pillar in white granite broadens and opens up at the top with an intricately carved lotus.

The symbolic flower is capped by a circular base that holds a silver-coated brass replica of the commemorative coin released by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in Chennai on September 15, Annadurai’s birth anniversary. Its base and top have been chiselled in black granite, all sourced from Mysore, Sthapathy said. The stoneworks alone cost Rs 25 lakh.

The DMK Trust conferred the ‘Anna Award’ on Karunanidhi at a huge rally in Kancheepuram later in the evening.

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