Mao No More: Enormous Gold Statue Destroyed In China

Days after images of a 120-foot Mao Zedong statue in rural China went viral, it has been torn down.

The 3 million yuan (roughly $459,500) statue was reportedly created by local farmers and businesspeople in Henan’s Tongxu county. Many outlets are attributing, or at least connecting, the teardown to an outpouring of online criticism and mockery after images of the Chairman’s likeness went viral:

New York Times: Golden Mao Statue in China, Nearly Finished, Is Brought Down by Criticism
The Guardian: ‘Mega Mao’ no more as ridiculed golden statue destroyed
The Independent: Mao statue in China ‘pulled down by authorities’ after 120ft gold giant is mocked online

Per the Times, which did some solid footwork on the topic, the statue’s demise seems to have been swift, taking place across yesterday and today. While the authorities wouldn’t confirm anything, the Times reports that Public Security officials were on site (blocking public access), whom villagers said had been sent by Tongxu County.

Also circulating widely online, this incredibly creepy photograph that’s been circulating of the statue mid-tear down: