The Return of the Cult of MaoBreaking News
tags: China, Cultural Revolution, Mao, Tiananmen
Earlier this year, overzealous entrepreneurs and villagers erected a statue of Mao in a Henan field. It was over 36.6 meters (120 feet) tall, painted gold, and, if one can believe the People’s Daily Online, cost nearly half a billion dollars to build.
The exact purpose of the statue, aside from “commemorating” Mao, was unclear, but the Great Helmsman’s stolid gilded countenance bore witness to the contradictory attitudes that prevail in today’s China, where the shadow of Mao and the ghosts of Tiananmen still mingle, and where President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping has taken on some of Mao’s cultish allure.
Social media users mocked the giant statue, noting the irony of its placement in Henan province, which was one of the hardest hit regions during the famine that resulted from Mao’s Great Leap Forward.
Then, days after its completion, officials moved in to dismantle the statue. Its legs were torn off and a black cloth was draped over its head. Again, the exact reason was not publicly stated, but local officials did say the statue’s construction was not registered and approved by the relevant ministries.
comments powered by Disqus
- Did Squanto meet Pocahontas in London?
- Thanksgiving: Early Colonists Ate Turkey... But Also Horses, Rats And Snakes, Archaeologists Say
- Sources: McMaster Mocked Trump’s Intelligence at a Private Dinner
- The JFK assassination files lead back to Seattle
- Princeton investigates its connection to slavery at a two-day symposium
- OAH historians say events of the past year show they were right to emphasize freedom as the theme of the 2019 annual convention
- Why being a historian is about so much more than producing displays for museums
- Historian Says Textbooks Have Shaped Our Attitudes On Race
- Heather Ann Thompson says what went on at Attica is worse than we thought
- Princeton’s Jan T. Gross warns that Poland’s showing signs of turning decisively in a fascist direction