Martin Luther King Memorial Made In China

Malcolm Moore, Telegraph (London), August 22, 2011

The 30ft-tall statue, which forms the centrepiece of a $120 million (£73 million), four-acre memorial to Dr King, opened to the public on Monday on the National Mall in Washington. It is the only memorial on the Mall that does not honour a president or fallen soldiers.

Standing in the shadow of the Washington Monument, the statue shows Dr King emerging from a mountain of Chinese granite with his arms crossed and is called The Stone of Hope.

However, there has been controversy over the choice of Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from Changsha in Hunan province, to carry out the work. Critics have openly asked why a black, or at least an American, artist was not chosen and even remarked that Dr King appears slightly Asian in Mr Lei’s rendering.

Mr Lei, who has in the past carved two statues of Mao Tse-tung, one of which stands in the former garden of Mao Anqing, the Chinese leader’s son, carried out almost all of the work in Changsha.

More than 150 granite blocks, weighing some 1,600 tons, were then shipped from Xiamen to the port of Baltimore, and reassembled by a team of 100 workmen, including ten Chinese stone masons brought over specifically for the project.

Dr King’s son, Martin Luther King III, has defended the outsourcing.

“I have seen probably 50 sculptures of my dad, and I would say 47 of them are not good reflections,” he said, to USA Today.”This particular artist: he has done a good job.”

However, Ed Dwight, a sculptor in Denver, said Dr King would be “turning over in his grave” if he knew his likeness had been conceived by someone living under a Communist regime.

“He would rise up from his grave and walk into their offices and go, ‘How dare you?'”

Mr Lei was chosen after the memorial’s fund-raisers observed him at work at a stone carver’s symposium in Minnesota. Amid the criticism, the architects in charge of the project said that they had visited Mr Lei’s studio in Changsha to find he had already carved several versions of the work.

He has also prepared a bronze bust of Barack Obama which he intends to gift to the president.

The new memorial is next to the Lincoln Memorial, on whose steps Dr King delivered his “I have a dream” speech in 1963, a defining moment in the American Civil Rights movement. The statue will be officially dedicated on Sunday, the anniversary of the speech, but the park has opened in advance to visitors. Around 400,000 people are expected in the run-up to Sunday’s event.

The statue, meanwhile, will be 11ft taller than the statues in the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. It is unclear how much money was saved by making it in China.

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  • Enough

    I guess there wasn’t enough money left after paying off the King family to hire a black American sculptor. Just another job that Americans won’t do?

  • Anonymous

    Butt-ugly, and not one single piece of granite–the Chinese who farmed out the work used =/- 150 blocks (that’s a cheap cop-out, as there were hunderds of American granite firms, and hundreds of American artists who could have done the job, beautifully and with a single granite slab.)It’s Soviet in appearance, and will be on the Mall with America’s greatest.

    We’re talking Michael King here–never got his name changed legally, abusive womanizer, “copied” from others’ papers,and had some strong suspicious ties to CPUSA…..Maybe they were right to contract this work out to China.

  • Ken

    We here in South are glad they used a Chinese communist artist to carve out the statue of Martin Luther King. With the statues of Lincoln and Grant nearby we will never have a reason to evr visit that God forsaken place. God save the South. Ken

  • Anonymous

    A manufactured statue for a manufactured leader. How fitting.

    Anyway, if the Blacks want to honor him, more power to him. He didn’t fight for us but was used by others to prey on us, no true-hearted White will honor this man.

  • GetBackJack

    It may be made in China but it almost looks like he was born in China. Are his eyes slanted or what?

    Just more Chinese crap on our shores!

  • Dutchman

    This is pretty funny. I thought blacks are so talented in all things and clearly the superior to all others that surely they could find a black sculptor who is ‘bestest ever’. Maybe some street sculptor that specializes in busts of famous rappers?

    Now we are told over and over that Toni Morrison is the ‘bestest ever’ novelist, and Maya Angelou is the ‘bestest ever’ poet(better than Ezra Pound, no less), and Denzel Washington is the greatest actor that ever lived-far superior to all those White actors that preceded him and even all his contemporaries -especially the White ones.

    Maybe having a earthquake soon after the statue was placed is a sign of divine disfavour?

  • Fer de Lance

    Did you notice that he looks more like Mao than mlk??

    ALSO, the sculptor used WHITE granite!!

    (I believe this was done ON PURPOSE!).

  • Anonymous

    Talk about a waste of 120 million dollars. I don’t want to hear any complaints from blacks about cuts in social programs.

  • Anonymous

    A metaphor for things to come — Black labor substituted willing for that by Asians. And that slight Asian eye fold added to the statue just to let them know who is in control. Washington just gets stranger and stranger.

  • Anonymous

    And, what do blacks have to show for ‘Martins’ work? Crime is skyrocketing in New York, black Flash mobs are a daily story, no school system has figured out how to get blacks to graduate.

    Yea, build a HUGE, larger than the ‘White man’ imported stone ‘monument’. And remember: Judge them by their CHARACTER, NOT by the COLOR of their skin, (or mind).

  • Boondoggler

    Now that the “goodwill” basketball team from Georgetown University has demonstrated to China their incredible behavior antics, it’s amazing the Chinese didn’t demand additional payment.

  • Detroit WASP

    MLK would roll over in his grave if he knew about flash mobs, baggy pants and hip hop.

    He had a dream and Al Shaprton has a scheme!

  • Anonymous

    3 — Ken wrote at 6:50 PM on August 23:

    We here in South are glad they used a Chinese communist artist to carve out the statue of Martin Luther King. With the statues of Lincoln and Grant nearby we will never have a reason to evr visit that God forsaken place. God save the South. Ken

    ———————————————–

    Isn’t that the truth! BTW, MLK looks like an albino.

  • Anonymous

    1 — Enough wrote at 6:23 PM on August 23:

    I guess there wasn’t enough money left after paying off the King family to hire a black American sculptor. Just another job that Americans won’t do?

    —————–

    I never call blacks, American. I don’t call sculptors, black. blacks don’t do “American” jobs.

  • Tim in Indiana

    I think the use of a Chinese sculptor was an intentional slight against blacks. It’s a way of telling them that the “civil rights movement” is no longer just about them. It’s about the Cambodians and the Chinese and the Mexicans and the Guatemalans and the Arabs and on and on and on.

    After all, black people are killing themselves at too high a rate to ever hope to outbreed the whites in this country, so we have to ship in plenty of nonwhites from other countries in order to make ourselves a hated minority. That means the “civil rights movement” is no longer about black people. Sorry.

    Just look at the Chevrolet propaganda…er, I mean TV commercial, showing not only plenty of blacks but Hispanics, Middle Easterners, Asians, etc.

    I guess being “the world’s policeman” also means we have to be the world’s breeding grounds as well.

  • Lonestar Rebel

    It looks like something out of communist central red or Tiananmen square. But what the heck isn’t that where we’re headed anyway?

  • olewhitelady

    What was the purpose, I wonder, of having the statue appear as if the sculpting wasn’t finished? Was it to signify that King’s work was never done or what? Cheaper to produce, maybe? To me, it has a cheap, hurried quality like that of a chain-saw sculpture! It isn’t even recognizable as MLK, and the stance looks like a potentate’s.

  • Jesse Inman

    Personally, I’m proud that no white American had a hand in this. I’m sure lots of liberal artistes would have wanted a shot at it but still, there’s a certain justice in being able to point and say – “No white American lifted a finger to carve that monstrosity.”

  • Anonymous

    3 — Ken wrote at 6:50 PM on August 23:

    We here in South are glad they used a Chinese communist artist to carve out the statue of Martin Luther King. With the statues of Lincoln and Grant nearby we will never have a reason to evr visit that God forsaken place. God save the South.

    _________________________________________________________________

    I’ll second that. Anyway, I think the statue looks just like a communist dictator. How fitting!

  • Proud Southerner

    Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to carve the statue out of BLACK marble? It does exist! And why 30 feet tall??? Looks like overkill to me. But, hey, maybe the “Made in China” work was just another cheap imitation of a real work of art. And maybe the sculptor was color blind so he didn’t NOTICE that MLK was black…

  • rockman

    I thought the sculpture looked like budda myself with a pout on. Now I know why.

  • A Comment from Australia

    To # 7, WHITE granite, good one! As for looking like Mao, I think I can see a resemblance to Lenin also!

  • Southern Hooser

    As Enough started to point out the Foundation had to pay $800,000 to the family in order to build a memorial to King. I think they should have used red stone instead of white, it would have been more appropriate.

    “”stone of hope” is taller than the statues of Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, whose memorials flank this plaza.”

    At least they didn’t make it bigger than Bobby Lee on Stone Mountain.

  • Sardonicus

    It looks like the sculptor did another statue of Chairman Mao, but with Martin Luther King’s head. The whole thing has the stiff, formalistic, neo-Egyptian look of a Kim IL Sung sculpture from North Korean. So M. L. King is re-created in stone to live again as a communist monument?

  • Jack D.R.

    What a hideous eyesore to be placed on the National Mall. This government has completely abandoned the European American. Anymore, for the European American, living in this country may be compared to existing within enemy occupied territory. This country was established and put in motion by European Americans/Europeans for European Americans/Europeans. Since this man came into prominence just examine all the horrors and crimes committed against the people of our race (European Americans). And now, he is honored and portrayed as a saint. How brainwashed can people become; how low can a country plunge?

  • HH

    The comment by Denver sculptor, Ed Dwight, is a particularly hilarious slice or irony in the middle of this piece! Yeah, King would have been horrified by all that Communism?!?! Dwight apparently doesn’t know very much about ‘ol ML King, his politics, or those he aligned himslef with does he?

  • Shawn (the female)

    Perhaps if the job were to DESTROY a statue rather than build one, a black or blacks would be contracted. That’s much more in line with their capabilities.

  • Paleface 6

    Look at the bright side…at least that Chinese guy didn’t make a statue of James Earl Ray by mistake (like that plaque making company somewhere in the South; the illegal alien engraver put “Thanks for keeping the dream alive, James Earl Ray” on it)!

  • Anonymous

    12 — Detroit WASP wrote at 9:01 PM on August 23:

    MLK would roll over in his grave if he knew about flash mobs, baggy pants and hip hop.

    He had a dream and Al Shaprton has a scheme!

    —————————————————

    Roll over in his grave? More like he is break dancing in his grave. MLK wanted nothing but black power over Whites. His so-called, I Have A Dream Speech, was nothing but an attempt to fool Whitey again and get him on board his AA gravy train.

    You could say MLK’s dream was a scheme to be more accurate.

  • Anonymous

    Yea, build a HUGE, larger than the ‘White man’ imported stone ‘monument’. And remember: Judge them by their CHARACTER, NOT by the COLOR of their skin, (or mind).

    ———————————

    King had no character. Everyone should know that by now, especially Whites. Seems Whites fall for any “nice’ sounding words.

  • Lonestar Rebel

    Tim in Indiana got it right Hispanics out breed and out pace blacks

    at an alarming rate they are also willing to work at dirty demeaning jobs. In other words as a black co worker once stated they ‘work like Hebrew slaves’. East Asians especially Hindis and Pakistanis seem to be able to build huge financial empires serving mostly black communities. Small businesses in my town don’t like to hire blacks since they are unreliable and tend to carry a chip on their shoulder. Was this the great MLKs dream? I think in reality it was. Oppressive Gov. and the welfare state has done nothing but expand since all those great society programs and civil rights acts in the 60s.

    By the way has anyone else noticed the increasing belligerence of blacks along with an increasing reliance on the welfare state since Obama took office?

  • Jim

    Seeing as Michael King had close ties to several prominent Communists….the sculptor of Mao seems like the right man for the job.

  • Anonymous

    To all you liberal Whites who intend to attend the unveiling–think “Flash Mob”. Be careful, especially toward the evening…

    Also, wait until you see photos of all the garbage that is left behind on the ground after the ceremony–and who do you think is going to volunteer to pick it up?

  • Anonymous

    He was the Nelson Mandela of the United States. I don’t know if he was a terrorist as was Mandela but I remember him constantly using subtle threats that if the demands of the SCLC weren’t met that he couldn’t guarantee that there would be no violence. It certainly did smack of inciting to riot slightly less over the top than the Black Panther in Philly calling for the killing of Whites and their babies.

    Like most stuff manufactured in China, the statue will probably fall apart when Irene strikes.

  • john

    What a sad commentary on the black African race that a philandering, hustling con-artist is held forth as the most esteemed black man of all time.

  • Anonymous

    I find it ironically appropriate that this admitted communist, who was backed by the American Communist Party should have wedged a Marxist styled piece of monolithic art, reminiscent of the huge statue of Stalin into the National Mall.

    Regardless of King’s emotionally charged speeches, Marxist groups like the Weather Underground were saying at the time that it expected no less than 25 million Americans would have to be purged from the population, once they took control. Don’t think it isn’t happening now, just because political methods are being used instead of guns and gulags.

    They are raising this statue in a time where whites cannot feel safe in many places in our cities. The summer sports of attacking whites via flash mob is being cracked down upon, but the causes for it are being not only defended, but justified. TV spots are promoting the “victory” of integration and such even as these events have occurred.

    If such a slap in the face of freedom AND truth can be ignored, it is a sign that freedom in America is actually dead. And I think it is anyway, when we have restrictions of the PC dogma inhibiting free speech and necessary discussion.

    Keep your heads, but remain watchful and prepared.

  • Anonymous

    10 — Anonymous wrote at 8:29 PM on August 23:

    Yea, build a HUGE, larger than the ‘White man’ imported stone ‘monument’. And remember: Judge them by their CHARACTER, NOT by the COLOR of their skin, (or mind).

    I’ve always been slightly sad that MLK was killed — not because I think he was any sort of “great man.” No, I’m only sorry that he died before somebody could corner him and ask him what ought to be the obvious follow-up question. And that question would be:

    Okay, Martin, fair enough. We won’t judge your people by the color of their skin. But what if we judge blacks purely by the content of their character and we STILL don’t like them? What then?

    And while I’m at it, I’ll also pass judgment on the new MLK statue on similarly quality-based grounds: It’s a Stalinoid monstrosity, entirely inappropriate to its place of prominence in the national capital. It is an ugly piece of art celebrating an ugly individual who was revered at the time ONLY because — unlike his more belligerent contemporaries such as Stokely Carmichael and the Black Panthers — MLK seemed able to keep blacks from rioting.

  • Anonymous

    This just in, the NFL donates $1 million to the MLK memorial.

    http://goo.gl/m1dCn