A new eight story tall statute of Soong Ching-ling, wife of Sun Yat-sen, is nearing completion in the Henan capital of Zhengzhou. The second eldest of the three famous Soong sisters who were all prominent figures during China’s Republican era, Madame Sun Yat-sen will have the unique privilege of being the world’s tallest statue of a female from the modern era.
Statues that stand at a greater height are of religious figures (with various Buddhas being the most prominent), pre-20th century historical figures (Christopher Columbus, Genghis Khan), or embodiments of abstract nationalistic spirits (The People of Africa, Mother Russia).
Quite unsurprisingly, two of the three statues of 20th century leaders that will remain taller than Soong are Communist: a 32m windswept recreation of Mao’s head is perched atop a mountain in his home province of Hunan, and a 27m statue of Lenin resides in Volgograd (the remaining statue is a 40m depiction of Ataturk in Turkey’s Izmir province).
It’s little surprise that the statue would be constructed in Henan of all places, since the central province is also home to the world’s tallest statue, the 128m Spring Temple Buddha. And if you’re still keeping score at this point, 5 of the 10 tallest statues in the world are all in China.
According to China Daily, the base of the statue will also serve as an 800 square meter meeting hall, and will be completed by the end of this month.