A gargantuan gold-painted statue of Communist China’s founding father Mao Zedong has suddenly been demol-ished, apparently for lacking government approval, state media said yesterday, days after images of it went viral.
Images of the statue of a seated Mao towering some 37 metres (121 feet) over empty fields in the central province of Henan made worldwide headlines this week.
But the 3 million yuan ($460,000) structure has been destroyed, the People’s Net news portal cited local officials as saying, adding the reason was “unclear”.
The website is linked to the People’s Daily, the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party.
It cited reports from unspecified media as saying the likeness of the man who ruled China with an iron grip for nearly three decades until his death in 1976 “was not registered or approved” by the local government.
Despite being blamed for millions of deaths, Mao is still widely revered in China and credited with uniting the country.