Two vast and trunkless legs of reinforced concrete now stand in the arid fields of north China’s Henan province, where a new statue of late Communist leader Mao Zedong has just been erected.
Towering close to 37 meters above former farmland in Tongxu county and painted glittering gold, the statue set the locality back a princely RMB3 million (HK$3.6 million).
Far from being dazzled, however, netizens have looked upon the village’s work and despaired.
“How about using the money for poverty alleviation first?” one Sina commenter asked. “Besides, it’s so ugly—doesn’t look a bit like [Mao].”
Besides the exorbitant cost, web users also criticised the project for reducing valuable farmland to lone and level sands and pushing the country toward “a return to the Cultural Revolution.”
On National Day, couples in another Henan village participated in a Mao-themed mass wedding in which they bowed to an altar bearing the likeness of the Great Helmsman and received copies of the Little Red Book as wedding presents.