Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Statue of Li-butter

A 49-metre-tall (160-ft) statue scultped entirely from unsalted butter was erected alongside the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The sculpture – designed to emulate the Statue of Liberty in New York harbour, New York, USA – was unfinished as of April 1, 2004; a spell of particularly pleasant weather has left the Brobdingnagian butter creation melting into the harbour.

At first, it made me laugh. But then I remembered the movie Seven years in Tibet. Butter sculpting is an ancient Tibetan Buddhist art. The sculptures symbolize impermanence (a main tenet of Buddhism,) along with more ritualistic components, and are usually destroyed in anywhere from a day to a few years. They are traditionally made with yak butter, but in exiled Tibetan communities, as the weather is usually warmer, it is made with ghee, fat, and wax.