Connect to share and comment

Indians love a giant Michael Jackson statue

The King of Pop was larger than life. Now he's also granite. Next stop Neverland Ranch?

Street dwellers rest in front of graffiti displaying pop star Michael Jackson at a streetside wall in Mumbai, Aug. 28, 2009. (Arko Datta/Reuters)

BANGALORE, India — Indians have a thing for statues.

We are also obsessive about giant-sized cutouts and massive digital posters of our favorite movie stars and politicians. Such larger-than-life street art is part of the urban visual scenery and skyline in many Indian cities.

Now one Indian is trying to take his fanatical hero-worship to gargantuan levels. R. Chandrasekaran, a granite monument exporter who runs RC Golden Granites in the eastern Indian city of Chennai, has commissioned and completed a mammoth statue of pop king Michael Jackson.

The 12-foot, 3.5-ton sculpture of the legendary singer in an iconic pose is carved out of a single block of fragile black granite. Sekar, as he calls himself, now wants to dispatch the statue that costs millions of rupees to build to Neverland Ranch, the late singer’s home in Santa Barbara, Calif.

A mammoth statue of Michael Jackson.

Chandrasekaran is a relatively recent convert to the Michael Jackson fan club, having imbibed the pop star’s music and dance moves through his young son. His son has since moved on to become a fan of other musicians but Chandrasekaran is a diehard.

Jackson’s sudden death left the business owner thoroughly depressed. He came up with the idea of carving a singular granite monument to show his own devotion and also show off Indian sculptors’ skills.

It took six of his best sculptors several weeks to carve out the statue. The monolith opened to rave reviews in a viewing in Bangalore.

The late Michael Jackson has his share of fanatical followers in India. At the sculpture’s showing in Bangalore, fans lined up to view and touch the glistening statue. The expressive face and the eyes are a testimony to Indian sculptors' handiwork, says Chandrasekaran.