Russia is now home to the tallest Buddha statue in Europe.
The 30-ton golden monument to the Maitreya — a bodhisattva who will appear in the future — was unveiled in Russia’s Buddhist stronghold of Kalmykia on Sunday.
Sitting at 12.5 meters tall, the Russian Buddha in the Kalmyk city of Lagan overtakes the 10-meter Buddha tucked away in the Pagode de Vincennes of Paris.
Kalmykia had housed Europe’s previous tallest Buddhist sculpture in late 2005.
Buddhism is one of five religions considered to be traditional to Russia.
An estimated 1 million Buddhists live in Russia, mainly in the republics of Kalmykia, Tuva and Buryatia where the religion is traditionally practiced.