Tuesday, May 30, 2006

the Goddess of Democracy

Our friends at Wikipedia note that today is the 17th anniversary of the erecting of the statue of the Goddess of Democracy [????]in Tianamen Square in China. From Wiki:

"The statue was constructed in only four days out of styrofoam and papier-mâché over a metal armature by students of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. The students decided to make the statue as large as possible so the government would be unable to dismantle it. The government would either have to destroy it, showing its anti-democratic nature, or leave it standing.

Many people have noted its resemblance to the Statue of Liberty. Nonetheless, a sculptor present during its construction, Tsao Tsing-yuan, has written that the students decided not to model their statue after the Statue of Liberty because they were concerned that it would be unoriginal and "too openly pro-American." Tsao further notes the influence on the statue of the work of Russian sculptor Vera Mukhina, associated with the school of revolutionary realism (Tsao 1994, 141-2).

On May 30, 1989, it was erected in Tiananmen Square, facing the large photograph of Mao Zedong posted on Tiananmen Gate. The Chinese People's Liberation Army destroyed the statue during the June 4 protests."

the photo on the right, above, is from 1989, while the golden replica is a statue at York University in Canada.