On Bal Thackeray's 93rd birth anniversary, a Mumbai-based artist made a portrait of the Shiv Sena founder with 33,000 rudrakshas or prayer beads. The portrait was put up in front of Shiv Sena Bhavan on Tuesday.
"Balasaheb Thackeray had a special relationship with rudraksha, so I wanted this portrait to be made of it. It is an 8 x 8 feet portrait and is made up of 33,000 rudrakshas, I tried to make a world record," artist Chetan Raut told news agency ANI.
Rudraksha beads in different shades have been used to give a 3-D effect to the portrait.
The Shiv Sena is organising the event today, on the occasion of Bal Thackeray's birth anniversary, at the city mayor's bungalow, which is going to converted into a museum later. The event is expected to be attended by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, the Mumbai civic body chief Ajoy Mehta and members of 'Balasaheb Thackeray Rashtriya Smarak Nyas'.
Maharashtra: Artist puts up a portrait of Balasaheb Thackeray in front of Shiv Sena Bhavan, Mumbai on the occasion of his birth anniversary. The portrait is made up of 33,000 Rudrakshas. pic.twitter.com/PMhuHS2i75— ANI (@ANI) January 23, 2019
Amid worsening ties, the Mahatashtra government has allotted Rs 100 crore for Bal Thackeray's the memorial and land for the structure will be transferred today by the civic body to the trust set up to construct the statue.
Sources say, some leaders want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be invited for the memorial's 'bhoomi pujan' or laying the foundation stone, which is likely to be held by this month-end. Architect Shashi Prabhu, who is also a member of the trust, told news agency PTI that the trustees, including Uddhav Thackeray will visit the plot today and formally accept possession of the land.
Mr Prabhu said that the civil work for the memorial is likely to start in February. The land selected for the memorial currently houses the bungalow of the Mumbai mayor, which is a heritage property built in 1928. Spread over four acres, it is a prime sea-facing property, covering around 11,500 square metres. It was handed over to the Bal Thackeray trust last year.
A civic official said since the memorial area comes under the coastal regulation zone, it will require approval from the environment ministry. "It is also a heritage site. We are hopeful of getting approval from all agencies concerned," the official said.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)