Kun Iam Statue

2009-12-01 16:22 BJT

Close to the new Cultural Centre, a striking 20-metre-high figure in bronze rises from an artificial island reached by a causeway.This is the Goddess of Mercy, Kun Iam, most popular of all Buddhist deities, protector of children, bringer of prosperity.The statue stands atop a dome in the shape of a lotus flower, beneath which is an ecumenical centre for China's three predominant philosophies, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. Videos, holograms and other innovative techniques will be used to explain the philosophies.

Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio inaugurated the new monument and centre during his visit in March.He met the originator of the Kun Iam monument, noted Portuguese artist, architect and sculptress Cristina Rocha Leiria, who is intensely interested in the relationship between man and his environment, an interest reflected in her work.Some of her sculptures have been created for children's parks and other green areas in a bid to humanise urban life.

Cristina has planned the Kun Iam Intercultural Centre as a place where activities related to culture, education and art take place.'The centre also aims to constitute a point of convergence of diversified cultures which - through their differences and similarities - can stimulate more profound studies,' she says.The 47 castings in polished bronze which form the statue were manufactured to Cristina's design in Nanjing, then bolted and welded together on site.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: cityguide.gov.mo