Maitreya Project

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Computer-generated rendering of the proposed Maitreya Project Statue to be constructed in Kushinagar. The proposed statue to be constructed in Bodhgaya is a different aspect of Maitreya.

The Maitreya Project is an international organisation, operating since 1990,[1] set up to construct a 152 metre (500 ft) statue of the Maitreya Buddha, in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India,[2][3][4] along with education and healthcare facilities for the local population. The initial design brief for the statue included a specification for the statue to last for 1,000 years; however this is no longer an aim of the project.[5]

The project scope has since changed, and the Maitreya Project will now construct smaller statue in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, as well as a 45 metre (150 ft) statue of the Maitreya Buddha, in Bodhgaya, Bihar, India.[6]

The project was initiated by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, an organisation within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. Maitreya Project and the UP State Government have worked together to create a comprehensive plan for development of the area surrounding the Project, which is administered by the Kushinagar Special Area Development Authority.

Laying of the foundation stone in Kushinagar[edit]

Maitreya Project Relic Roadshow.


On Friday 13th December 2013 the State Government of Uttar Pradesh handed over approximately 275 acres (111 ha) of land for the site of the Maitreya Project in Kushinagar. The land is immediately adjacent to the Parinirvana Temple denoting the place where Buddha Shakyamuni passed into Parinirvana, and the Rambhar Stupa which marks the holy site of Buddha’s cremation.

On that same day, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Akhilesh Yadav, presided over a foundation stone laying ceremony on this land. Maitreya Project's Spiritual Director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche and the Board of Trustees of the Maitreya Project Trust attended as state guests. [7] [8]

Finances[edit]

Maitreya Project International, California entity, Gross Annual Revenue 2001–2008 in US$[9]

The Project reports for 1990–2008 outgoings of more than US$20 million and investment of more than US$11 million.[10]

Nita Ing has taken over responsibility for the funding of the statue in Bodhgaya.[11]

Criticism[edit]

There has been criticism in the press about some aspects of the Project,[12][13][14][15][16][17] including the compulsory acquisition, under "India's Land Acquisition Act", by the State Government[1] of 660 acres (2.7 km2) of private land, homes and small farms; which are intended to be leased to the Project, for construction of the statue and related infrastructure, including "landscaped park housing a cathedral, monastery, convent, guesthouse, library and food halls...".[18] Peter Kedge, Director and CEO of the Maitreya Project has posted a number of replies to these criticisms.[1][19][20]

Following the 1,262nd day of "peaceful dharna", in August 2010, by the majority of local farmers against the compulsory acquisition of their farms, the Cabinet Secretary of Uttar Pradesh announced a reconsideration of support for the Project.[21]

The project was stalled when farmers and the local administration failed to come to a consensus over the price of land. While the UP government had agreed to pay Rs 710 per square metre, the farmers were asking for Rs 1,500 per square metre.[citation needed] The disagreement despite efforts from the state tourism department compelled the Maitreya Project Trust to walk out of UP.[citation needed] Sources said that the trust wrote to UP government in this regard in March 2012.[citation needed] However, the new government asked for a second chance. As a result, a fresh round of negotiations began.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Kedge, Peter (November 2007). "Maitreya Project Update, November 2007". Maitreya Project International website (Maitreya Project International I.O.M.). Retrieved 2007-11-21. 
  2. ^ Bartholomew, Ian (2001-07-12). "Massive Buddha taking shape in Taiwan: The Maitreya Project aims to erect a 152 m bronze Buddha in India that it hopes will stand for 1,000 years". Taipei Times (Taipei Times). p. 11. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  3. ^ "Brits to build biggest Buddha". BBC News: South Asia (British Broadcasting Corporation). 2000-03-21. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  4. ^ "The Maitreya Project". Aros Architects website. Aros Architects. Archived from the original on 2006-05-16. 
  5. ^ Liyanage, Priyath (2001-05-04). "India's 1,000 year Buddha underway". BBC News: South Asia (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  6. ^ "Announcement by Lama Zopa Rinpoche". Maitreya Project. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  7. ^ "Laying the Foundation Stone on Maitreya Project Land". FPMT. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "Announcement Maitreya Project Kushinagar". FPMT. Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Registry Search Feature". Registry of Charitable Trusts (RCT). Office of the Attorney General, State of California. Retrieved 2010-06-22. 
  10. ^ "summary" (PDF). Maitreya Project website. Maitreya Project International. Retrieved 2013-01-24. 
  11. ^ Kedge, Peter. "Letter from Mr Peter Kedge". Maitreya Project. 
  12. ^ Pepper, Daniel (2007-09-10). "Indian farmers oppose giant Buddha statue". The Christian Science Monitor (The First Church of Christ, Scientist). 
  13. ^ Qadir, Abdul (2003-01-09). "Heavy police deployment made for Kalchakra". The Times of India (Times Internet Limited). Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  14. ^ "Contemplating the Navel". Dharma Life, issue 15 (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order). Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  15. ^ Pepper, Daniel (2007-09-20). "Villagers fight plan for giant Buddha". The Washington Times (News World Communications, Inc.). Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  16. ^ Falcone, Jessica. "Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: Questioning The Maitreya Project: What would the Buddha do?". Wild River Review. Wild River Review. Archived from the original on 2008-02-11. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  17. ^ Falcone, Jessica. "Bodhi Blues — A Year in India: What would the Buddha Do? The Debate Continues...". Wild River Review. Wild River Review. Archived from the original on February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  18. ^ "X80F_Maitreya revised.pdf" (PDF). Aros Architects website. Aros Architects. Retrieved 2008-03-04. 
  19. ^ Kedge, Peter. "Maitreya Project, Latest Update, September 2007". Maitreya Project International website: Maitreya Project Update. Maitreya Project International I.O.M. Retrieved 2007-11-10. 
  20. ^ Kedge, Peter (September 2009). "Maitreya Project Status & Fact Reference, September 2009". Maitreya Project International website (Maitreya Project International I.O.M.). Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  21. ^ Manjul, Tarannum (2010-08-24). "Farmers’ protests may drive away Maitreya Buddha project to Bihar". The Indian Express. The Indian Express Limited. Retrieved 2012-07-04. 

External links[edit]