mao statue top

China, did you really think this one through?

So, Chairman Mao. In the west he’s seen mostly as China’s old tyrannical communist leader, but within China he’s often remembered as a kind of rosy-cheeked Chinese Santa Claus who united the country.

Which side is correct? Well, Mao was responsible for China’s Great Leap Forward, causing tens of millions to die from starvation, and he also initiated the Cultural Revolution, causing widespread panic and terror across the country that destroyed millions of lives, so there is that.

But still, in the minds of many Chinese people, Mao Zedong was a great leader. And in order to commemorate him, a giant golden statue of him is being built in one of the areas hit the hardest by his policies and still one of the country’s poorest regions: Henan Province’s Tongxu County.

▼ I mean, I guess you could kind of climb up there and sit on his lap like Santa Claus?

▼ And why is this being built in the middle of nowhere again? So many questions….

The Mao statue stands at 121 feet (37 meters) tall and cost over three million yuan (US$460,000) to build. While that’s fairly cheap as far as giant statues go, is it really a good use of time and resources in an area that’s little more than farmland?

One user on Sina Weibo, China’s homegrown microblogging site, had this to say:

“How about using the money for poverty alleviation first? Besides, it’s so ugly—doesn’t look a bit like Mao.”

Well, maybe the statue will bring in tourism to Henan? Maybe having something so high up to look at will give people some good neck-exercise? Maybe, uh… yeah, we’re out of ideas. China, you never cease to amaze us with your confusing architecture.

Source: SINA News via The Guardian
Featured/top image: Twitter/@archpics)