A theme park in Luoyang, Henan province, has unveiled its latest addition: a huge statue of the park’s founder… as Buddha.
The Buddha statue is fairly run-of-the-mill except for its slicked back hairstyle common with male Chinese officials. Longhua Playground confirmed in an official statement that the statue was an artistic representation of the park’s founder, rather than an attempt to bring representations of the Buddha in line with Communist Party grooming habits.
While most online comments were critical of the statue, some netizens pointed out that some Buddhas at the Longmen Grottoes are said to have been made in the likeness of Empress Wu and others.
We’ll leave you with this quote from the Dhammapada:
Weeds harm the fields; vanity harms humanity;
offerings given to those free from vanity bring great reward.