The Beijing News recently reported on the unveiling of a 24-carat gold-plated 7-metre high statue of Chairman Mao in Changsha, capital of his home province of Hunan.
Agence-France Presse notes that the report “did not disclose the cost of the project, but said a local pharmaceutical company footed the bill”, and that the statue has “triggered a heated debate over the Internet on the need for such a lavish display”.
Particularly interesting are the following two quotes in the AFP report from Chinese netizens on opposing ends of the spectrum:
‘Chairman Mao was opposed to waste. This is going to upset a lot of old people. There is no need for something like this.’
‘Chairman Mao is the pride of the people. To put up this kind of golden statue gives no cause for criticism.’
Meanwhile, Shanghaiist’s neighbourhood Hunan restaurant has been offering joss sticks to a mini statue of Mao. Hmm. Only 33 shopping days left until Mao’s birthday!