The Maitreya Project is an international organisation, operating since 1990,
which intends to construct statues of Maitreya Buddha in India and perhaps elsewhere. Initial plans were for a 152-metre (500 ft) colossal statue, to be built in either Kushinagar or Bodhgaya. These plans have since changed, and the Maitreya Project now intends to construct relatively modest statues in both towns. The project was initiated by the Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition, an organisation within the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism.
After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of larger sculpture until the Buddhist era.
During the 2nd to 1st century BCE in far northern India, in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara from what is now southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, sculptures became more explicit, representing episodes of the Buddha's life and teachings.
Since then many Colossal Buddha statues were carved across the silk road and later beyond south Asia.
This is a .
The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition (FPMT) was founded in 1975 by Lamas Thubten Yeshe and Thubten Zopa Rinpoche, who began teaching Buddhism to Western students in Nepal.
The FPMT has grown to encompass over 160 Dharma centers, projects, and services in 37 countries.
Since the death of Lama Yeshe in 1984, the FPMT's spiritual director has been Lama Zopa Rinpoche.
FPMT maintains a number of charitable projects, including funds to build .