Large, unique statue found in Gangwon
The gilt-bronze statue of a bodhisattva measures about 40 centimeters (15.75 inches) in height, but when assembled as a complete set, with the mandorla (halo) on the top and the pedestal on the bottom, it is taller than 50 centimeters, researchers at the Hanbit Institute of Cultural Properties said.
Buddhist statues from this era are usually 20 to 30 centimeters in height. It is also very rare to find gilt-bronze Buddhist statues in Korea that include the mandorla and the pedestal.
Researchers say the way the bodhisattva is holding the kundika (the water vessel used in Buddhist ceremonies) is also unique. The figure is holding the vessel by its handle, whereas in most bodhisattva depictions the figures are holding the vessel by its long neck, or mouth, which functions as the spout.
Researchers are currently further studying the statue, but given its artistic and academic value they expect the piece to be designated as a state treasure.
BY HYUNG-EUN KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]