Creative stone works draw huge crowds at trade fairFebruary 2nd, 2012 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Feb 2 (IANS) Rich stone varieties across India, latest techniques for chipping stones in different hues, and about 300 artisans carving stunning shapes under one roof are attracting hundreds of visitors to this biennial international trade expo being held on the city’s outskirts since Wednesday.
Among the creative works of art in stone on display are idols of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan, celluloid heroine Deepika Padukone and Karnataka’s thespian Raj Kumar.
The 20-foot monolithic black granite statue of Hindu god Anjaneya, popularly known as Hanuman, is, however, the centre of attraction and cynosure of all eyes, as it is billed to travel to the US for adorning the San Marga Iravan temple being built at Kauai’s Hindu monastery at Hawaii in Honolulu.
Organised by the All India Granites and Stone Association (AIGSA), the 10th edition of STONA 2012 at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) showcases a range of colourful, eye-catching natural stones to demonstrate modern techniques in the craft of stone working.
Representatives of stone industry from Italy, China, Turkey, Egypt, Japan, Korea and several European countries are also attending the four-day conference-cum-exhibition.
On display are natural stones, machinery related to the natural stone industry, safety and environment protection methods, packaging and transportation.
The exhibition has a ‘Shilpagram’ where 110 artisans from Karnataka, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal are displaying their skills.
“Over the years, STONA has established itself on the international map as promoting global trade, business opportunities, innovative technologies, new manufacturing and processing facilities. It provides a platform for over 350 exhibitors from the world over, with over 10,000 visitors making a beeline to the venue,” association president J.B. Surana told IANS.
As a treasure-trove of stone, possessing a wide spectrum of dimensional products in granite, marble, sandstone, slate and quartzite, India is one of the largest producers of the aesthetic raw material.
The industry is evolving into production and manufacturing of blocks, flooring slabs, structural slabs, ready-to-fix tiles, monuments, tomb stones, sculptures, artifacts, cobbles, cubes, curbs, pebbles and landscape garden stones.
“Though India leads in production of natural stones with 35,342 million tonnes, accounting for 28 percent of world’s share, we are far behind in exports with only Rs.7,000-crore revenue (Rs.70-billion/$1.4 billion) as against China, which earned $3.04 billion in 2010-11,” added Surana.
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