Monday, 17 October 2011

King Made In China

Yesterday US President Barack Obama officially dedicated a new memorial to civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr in Washington. It's a good likeness, though a bit pale. The 30 ft (9m) granite statue stands near the spot where Dr King delivered his famous "I have a dream" speech in 1963. It cost £75 million ($120 million), money which would have have been better spent on poor black American families, especially as it was made in China (CLICK). I also have a dream: that BBC News will name the artists who create such works (title link). I tried a number of news websites, most of which were rehashing the Reuters story, which also ignores the artist. Google found the memorial website (CLICK) which led me to the ROMA Design Group of San Francisco (CLICK). They designed the monument, but commissioned the work from Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin, who had carved two statues of Mao Tse-tung. Sculpting done, more than 150 granite blocks, weighing about 1,600 tons, were shipped from Xiamen to Baltimore and reassembled by a team of 100 workmen, including ten Chinese stone masons brought over for the project. No wonder the Chinese are carping about the US failure to deal with its budget deficit! Perfect example.


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