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World’s tallest Buddha

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PATNA, India — A California-based Buddhist organization will build a Buddha statue in the eastern Indian state of Bihar which it says will be the tallest statue in the world.

Project officials said the complex, expected to be ready by the end of 2005, will consist of a 500-foot bronze statue sitting on a 105-foot throne, which will house a temple and a cinema hall screening films on the life of the Buddha.

"The Maitreya (future incarnation) Buddha will be seated on the throne with his feet on a lotus touching the earth," said L.P. Singh, the project's general secretary.

Singh said the $150 million project in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is said to have attained spiritual enlightenment, is managed by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition of Buddhism.