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Mao Zedong statue unveiled in China

world Updated: Oct 26, 2008 15:55 IST

AFP
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A university campus has erected China's tallest statue of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, state press reported on Sunday.

The 20-metre high (66-feet) stainless steel statue was unveiled at Chongqing Medical University in honour of the man who established the People's Republic in 1949, the Beijing Morning Post said.

"To set up statues of Mao Zedong has been a university campus tradition for decades," the paper quoted a spokesman as saying in the southwest city.

"The purpose of the statue is to encourage and give confidence to our teachers and to instill national character and patriotism in our students."

If the base of the 46-tonne statue is included, the entire structure measures over 34 metres tall and can be seen from five kilometres away, the report said.

Known as the father of modern China, Mao is also accused of bringing chaos to China with egalitarian polices that left the nation impoverished and backward for decades.

Many universities demolished their Mao statues 30 years ago when China discarded its Maoist political theories and embarked on capitalist market reforms and opened its door to the outside world.