National emblem: Ferocious lions' statue on new parliament raises eyebrows

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a bronze cast of India's national emblem on top of the new parliament building with much fanfare

The 6.5m (21ft 3in)-tall cast shows four Asiatic lions mounted back-to-back on a circular disc. But the new statue, adapted from an ancient Indian sculpture dating back to 250BC, has raised many eyebrows.

Critics say the lions have been given a makeover and the new "ferocious" look strays from their original depiction.

Mr Modi shared a video of the unveiling on Monday morning that showed the cast - weighing 9,500kg (20,943 pounds) - on top of the central foyer of the new parliament building

A senior government official said the installation of India's national emblem - adapted from the Lion Capital of Ashoka, a sculpture that was atop one of the several pillars erected by Emperor Ashoka during his reign in 250BC - was an "important milestone in the decolonisation" of the capital city.