Vadodara: He turned 80 on Monday and what better way to celebrate an artist’s birthday than unveiling one of the best artworks he has ever made.

City’s prominent artists and personalities celebrated sculptor Nagji Patel’s birthday by admiring the magnificent granite stone artwork themed ‘The King and the Queens’ that has has five separate structures and made completely of granite.

“I was working on this artwork for the last four months. All the five works were made in Mahabalipuram near Chennai. I had to supervise all the intricacies including the texture, polish and other aspects of the granite stone,” Patel told TOI.

“Every man has two women on his mind. One is his wife and the other who he has always dreamt of – an ideal woman. The king in my artworks is flanked by two women and around them are two trees,” he said about the artwork’s theme.

The artwork, kept at a city-based, hotel weighs 10 tonnes and is 10-foot tall while the ones depicting women weigh seven tonnes each and are eight-foot tall. The trees stand at six-foot weighing three tonnes each.

Another exquisite artwork prepared by prominent artist P R Daroz too was unveiled at the same place. From academician Tejal Amin to royal family member, Shubhanginiraje Gaekwad and municipal commissioner, Dr Vinod Rao, prominent citizens attended the event.

A Masters in Arts from the MS University, Patel, who settled in the city in 1956, was always fascinated with stones, its textures and shapes. While studying he began visiting the stone quarries. “I perhaps identified with stones as working on them requires lot of patience and perseverance,” Patel said.

His first artwork abroad was a white marble structure installed in Yugoslavia in 1978 and Patel didn’t look back then. He has contributed to the art scenario in several countries including a big granite sculpture he made in Japan in 1991.

He has also worked in Gwalior, Udaipur, Mumbai, Hyderabad and different cities of Gujarat. And his most famous work ‘The Banyan Tree’, a symbolic landmark of the ‘Vad’ tree from which Vadodara got its name, still stands tall at Chhani circle in the city.

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