Tale of Two Cities

BY: SUN STAFF

Sep 28, USA (SUN) — New York artist wants to build twin Vedic cities.

Artist, sculptor, architect and author Alfred Valerio has announced the start of a Herculean project to build two Vedic cities - one in India, and one in New York. Valerio, originally a resident of Corning, NY, moved to India in 1977 and has lived there since that time. Over the years, he has developed a great love of Indian art and culture, which he now wants to share with the world.

An accomplished painter, architect, writer and lecturer on Indian culture, Valerio, also known as Bhaktisiddhanta, is now engaged as the chief architect on an environmentally green, city to be built in India. The city is to be built south of Delhi on the banks of the Yamuna River, and is being designed to accommodate 75,000 visitors a day, or 30 million a year. He hopes to attract those on pilgrimage to Vrindavan, and visitors from around the world interested in Vedic culture.

Employing the best in green architecture and alternative western construction techniques, he hopes to advance the Vedic culture by presenting it in a venue that brings together the best of East and West.

Valerio (center), displaying his paintings in New York

Valerio's organization, Heritage International Foundation, is working in cooperation with the Indian government to advance India's ancient Vedic art and culture throughout the world. Towards that end, Valerio is also pursuing a twin city to the Delhi site, earmarked for the Cornell, New York area. There, he hopes to build a cultural center that will bring the 5,000 year old science of self-realization to the West.

Various New York sites are being considered for the project, including Coopers Plains, Campbell, Corning, South Corning, Erwin, Lindley and Thurston.

The New York project is expected to be in early stage planning for the next two years before ground is broken. This cultural city will be comprised of smaller villages and green spaces designed to showcase various aspects of Vedic art and culture.

Calling it the "Vrindavan Vedic City", he has plans for a centerpiece statue of Lord Vishnu that will be twice the size of the Statue of Liberty. The interior of the statue will have Disneyland-style multimedia exhibits of Indian scientific and philosophical thought. Throughout the city, visitors will be exposed to Indian art, drama, literature and architecture, which will also be showcased in a multimillion-dollar cultural center.

Valerio hopes to import from India to the US a collection of Vedic artworks more extensive than that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection. In fact, the Met's collection is fairly limited, and an extensive collection spanning all the Vedic arts is more than overdue in finding a US venue.

While many of Srila Prabhupada's disciples over the years have developed an interest in building such a Vedic city in various places around the world, none have yet gotten a serious start. We hope that by Krsna' arrangements, Valerio will be positively influenced by the devotees, and Srila Prabhupada's perfect plan for bringing Krsna Consciousness to the west will be reflected in this cultural effort.



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