Bhubaneswar, July 28, 2021 (PTI): The iconic warrior-horse statue in Bhubaneswar, located at Master Canteen Square, will not be relocated, a senior official said on Tuesday.
Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner S.K. Singh, who is also chief of the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited (BSCL), said the sandstone sculpture will remain at the Master Canteen Square and there will be a slight realignment in the design of the road.
Warrior-horse statue in Bhubaneswar
The statue is a replica of the original warrior-and-horse sculpture found at Konark Sun Temple. The BSCL had planned to relocate the statue to the Raj Bhavan Square to make way for a multi-modal hub at the Bhubaneswar railway station.
The Odisha government had adopted the Konark horse and warrior as the state’s emblem in 1964. The statue seen at Mastercanteen Square was built by famous Odisha sculptor Raghunath Panigrahi, a Padma Bibhushan awardee who passed away last month after battling with COVID-19.
The warrior-horse is the official emblem of the state administration.
The Opposition BJP, Congress, academicians, and sculptors had been opposing the relocation of the statue, even as theBhubaneswar Smart City Limited’s decision to shift the warrior-horse replica had been approved by the culture department.
Naveen Patnaik intervenes in issue of relocation of warrior-horse statue in Bhubaneswar
Officials said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik intervened and directed the authorities of the BMC and the Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited to change the decision and rather beautify the surroundings of the iconic statue. Meanwhile, a team inspected the statue and detected some cracks and scratches which will be repaired soon, an official said.
Restoration of warrior-horse statue in Bhubaneswar
The smart city authorities have been given the responsibility to hire skilled artisans for the protection and restoration of the iconic statue. The Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) had erected the sculpture at Master Canteen square in 1988. It was created by late sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra.