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Mao’s $16 million statue unveiled for his 120th birthday

world Updated: Dec 23, 2013 23:59 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

The legacy of Mao Zedong might be increasingly coming under scrutiny in Communist China but that hasn’t stopped the authorities from unveiling a $ 16 million statue of the Chairman days before the anniversary of his 120th birthday.

According to the state media, the statue made of gold and jade, a very popular precious stone in China, was inaugurated in the southern Chinese town of Shenzhen.

At around 80 cm, it is not very tall but weighs, according to China National Radio (CNR), around 50 kilograms.

The CNR report said it depicts Mao, whose birthday falls on December 26, reclining in a chair, legs crossed.

“A team of 20 artists took eight months to complete the 100 million-Yuan ($16.5 million) work, which is accented with precious stones and rests on a base of white jade,” the CNR report was quoted as saying in agency reports.

A six-volume, 3-million-word chronicle describing Mao’s life and achievements after the founding of the People’s Republic of China was also released on Sunday to commemorate the event.

The chronicle offers, according to a state media, “a rare glimpse at speeches and talks that have not been included in Mao’s works.”

But interestingly, official celebrations of the landmark birth anniversary of the founder of the People’s Republic of China have been muted. President Xi Jinping recently said that celebrations in Mao’s home province in Hunan should be “solemn, simple and pragmatic.”

The state-run Global Times reported last week that an event titled “Reddest is the Sun and Dearest is Chairman Mao” scheduled for Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the anniversary, has been rebilled as a “New Year’s Gala” and its poster redesigned.