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Pakistan donates world famous Buddha statue

On a request made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa during his recent state visit to Pakistan, the government of Pakistan has made arrangements to send to Sri Lanka the world famous statue of Fasting Siddharta (Sakyamuni Buddha), to mark the 2550th year of Buddha Jayanthi.

The Buddha statue belongs to the National Museum of Lahore. It was exhibited for two days (Vesak poya day and yesterday) at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya and Buddhist devotees paid homage.

The statue was handed over to the Viharadhipathi of the Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya by Pakistan's High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, yesterday at the Foreign Ministry, in the presence of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Cultural and National Heritage.

The statue's face of the Buddha-to-be is particularly unusual, and indicates his complete disregard of his own body during this period of his life. The extreme realism in the treatment of the Buddha's emaciated body is characteristic of Gandharan interests but not commonly employed in the rest of India, where there is a much stronger tendency to idealize and generalize in the depiction of deified beings.

The sinews and bones of the Buddha's body are revealed beneath the barest amount of flesh that still remains. The realism characteristic of this work, and in particular the familiarity with the details of human anatomy, is inherited from the Hellenic worlds in which there was a preoccupation with detailed depictions of physical reality.

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