Orissa sand artist creates sculpture of Obama ahead of his India visit

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Puri, Nov 5 (ANI): Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik displayed a sculptor of US President Barack Obama at Puri beach as a mark of respect to the US President, who begins his India visit from Saturday.

Pattnaik created a five feet high sand image of Obama's face on Thursday along with flags of the U.S. and India symbolising a strong relationship between the two nations.

"Basically, by making this sculpture, we want to welcome President Obama. This will be his first visit to India and India is welcoming him. We have created a sand sculpture of him which is of five feet length and also tried to depict Indo-U.S. friendship through this sculptor and also want to send him Diwali greetings," said Pattnaik.

Pattnaik, who has participated in more than 39 international sand sculpture championships around the world and won many awards, used ten tonnes of sand complete the sculpture.

He completed the sculpture in five hours along with his students' and created lamps around the sculpture.

Subhranshu, a local resident here said he hopes all the deals that are going to be signed with the U.S. get finalised smoothly.

"It is a great and fabulous art and it is a welcome message to President Obama as he is coming for the first time to India. We are having great expectations that there should be good relationship between India and U.S. and all the deals should go fine," he said.

Meanwhile, several tourists present at the spot were absolutely taken aback by the sculptor.

President Obama will reach Mumbai along with his wife First Lady Michelle Obaman November 6 and will first pay homage to victims of 26/11 terror attacks. He will then attend a business summit organized by US-Indo Business Council.

On November 7, he will address town hall meeting and associated events at St Xavier's College and celebrate Diwali at a primary school.

President Obama will fly to New Delhi the same day and will visit Humayun's tomb. After that, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will host the Obamas at a private dinner.

The official component of President Obama's visit is on November 8 beginning with the ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan, followed by a visit to Raj Ghat.

President Obama and Dr Manmohan Singh will meet in the forenoon and discuss bilateral, regional and global developments of mutual concern. They will also discuss how to expand the strategic framework of Indian-US relations on the basis of our shared values and interests.

On conclusion of the Summit level meeting, they will preside over the meeting of the India-US CEO Forum. Thereafter the two leaders will address a Joint Press Conference.

Obamas will leave for Jakarta, Indonesia, on the morning of November 9. (ANI)

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