A statue to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, the largest in the world, will be unveiled this month in the tourist city of Sanya in Hainan province . The statue of Avalokitesvara, known in Chinese as Guanyin, rises 108 metres, four times higher than Hong Kong' giant bronze Buddha on Lantau, which stands 26.4 metres tall. A report from Xinhua said the statue would be unveiled on April 24 by 108 monks chosen from the mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, and would become a tourist and religious attraction in Hainan. Au Kit-ming, secretary-general of the Hong Kong Buddhist Association, said it would be the largest statue of the goddess in the world. The world's biggest Buddhist statue, which will stand at 152 metres, is being built in India. Mr Au said several Hong Kong delegates would attend the inauguration, describing it as an important date for Buddhists. 'Guanyin is the symbol of mercy and the most popular holy figure in Chinese culture,' he said. 'It will give the public spiritual strength to overcome natural disasters.' A spokesman for the Nanshan Guanyin organisation, which commissioned the statue, said it took five years to build. It cost about 1 billion yuan, with some of the money coming from public donations and some from bank loans. The spokesman said they chose April 24 for the inauguration because it marked the birthday of the goddess. A 15,000 square metre temple has been built to house the statue, and the spokesman believed it would attract hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each year. Sanya mayor Zhang Qi told local media that the statue would help boost tourism in the city, which is one of the mainland's most popular tourist destinations.