Bhubaneswar: Illustrious sculptor from Odisha, Padma Vibhushan Raghunath Mohapatra passed away on Sunday at the age of 78 years.
Mohapatra, a member of the Rajya Sabha from Odisha, was undergoing treatment at Bhubaneswar AIIMS after testing Covid positive a few days ago.
Known as a complete school in himself on stone carving not just because of the magic he worked out with his hands and a chisel, but also because of his lucid understanding of the traditional style in temple architecture, Mohapatra had won a national award in sculpting at the age of 22 years and was conferred with numerous other recognitions including the Padma Vibhushan in 2018.
He was conferred with Padma Shri in 1976 and also the Padma Bhushan in 2001 by the President of India.
Some of his renowned works include a six-feet-tall sandstone statue of the Sun God carved at the Central Hall of Parliament, New Delhi; a wooden sculpture of Buddha at the Buddha Temple in Paris.
He had also served as a consultative expert in the preservation of several ancient monuments in Odisha including the Shree Jagannath Temple in Puri and Konark Sun Temple. He is also credited to have envisaged an ambitious idea of building a ‘second Sun Temple’ on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.
Top personalities from across Odisha and the country expressed deep condolences at the demise of the veteran sculptor.
PM Modi took to Twitter and wrote, “Saddened by the demise of MP Shri Raghunath Mohapatra Ji. He made pioneering contributions to the world of art, architecture and culture. He will be remembered for his contributions towards popularising traditional crafts. My thoughts are with his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Similarly, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also condoled the passing away of Mohapatra.
ଅନ୍ତର୍ଜାତୀୟ ଖ୍ୟାତି ସମ୍ପନ୍ନ ଶିଳ୍ପୀ ତଥା ସାଂସଦ ରଘୁନାଥ ମହାପାତ୍ରଙ୍କ ଦେହାନ୍ତ ବିଷୟରେ ଜାଣି ମୁଁ ଦୁଃଖିତ। ଓଡ଼ିଶାର କଳା ଓ ଐତିହ୍ୟକୁ ସମୃଦ୍ଧ କରିବା ଦିଗରେ ତାଙ୍କ ଅତୁଳନୀୟ ଅବଦାନ ପାଇଁ ସେ ସର୍ବଦା ସ୍ମରଣୀୟ ରହିବେ। ତାଙ୍କ ଅମର ଆତ୍ମାର ସଦଗତି କାମନା ସହ ଶୋକସନ୍ତପ୍ତ ପରିବାର ସଦସ୍ୟଙ୍କ ପ୍ରତି ମୋର ସମବେଦନା ଜଣାଉଛି।— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) May 9, 2021