Vietnam plans biggest jade Buddha

UPI, Jan. 18, 2010

HAI DUONG, Vietnam -- A Vietnamese jewelry company said a team of 50 artisans will be employed to turn a 35-ton block into the world's largest jade statue of Buddha.

Than Chau Ngoc Viet Gemstone and Jewelry Co. held a ceremony Monday to kick off the project, with guests including Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet and Thich Pho Tue, the patriarch of the Vietnamese Buddhist Sangha, Bernama reported Monday.

The Voice of Vietnam said the statue is planned to measure 9.8 feet tall and the company plans to submit the finished product as a Guinness World Record.

Triet expressed enthusiasm for the project during Monday's ceremony and thanked the family of Dao Trong Cuong, former owner of Than Chau Ngoc Viet, for purchasing the block of jade from Myanmar.

The statue is scheduled for completion in two years, officials said.