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MLK memorial statue made in China

Written by The Sarcasmist on August 22, 2011 - Comments (12)
Martin Luther King Memorial

Martin Luther King Memorial

The headline certainly looks like a joke, and it would be a fabulous joke were it not true.

The sculptor who carved Martin Luther King’s likeness in granite is Lei Yixin, a Chinese artist. You may be forgiven to think that he is surely a Chinese American, so the statue, though made by a Chinese person, isn’t really made in China, but you’d be wrong.

So this is what we’ve come to. Our national memorials are now being made in China. The explanation given by the government is that since the work was a government contract, it was required to have open bidding. So to save the American taxpayers some money, we have now the biggest statue in the history of the World dedicated to irony.




  1. Can’t wait to see the John Wayne statue next!

  2. *face palm*

    I’m Swedish but even I can recognise this as a cringe-worthy moment.

  3. Are you sure its not made out of lead ?

  4. I don’t mind that it was a Chinese artist, though we have many sculptors in America. What I mind is the folks in Washignton are doing everything on the cheap except what needs to be cut, THEM!

  5. I think it’s fine. Where it was made, and who made it, doesn’t have to be an issue. Right? As long as they did a good job at bargain prices. MLK fought against barriers, this is just one of them. Besides, even America can’t afford American labor right now. lol

    • Back in the ’70s, before the Wall come down, I was in Finland. I snapped a picture of the communist East German ambassador’s car, which was an American-made New Yorker. It still makes me laugh, seeing a communist flag on a car that at that time symbolized capitalism. Context does matter. The creator shapes the message by who they are. Having a black sculptor, even at the expense of someone’s idea of perfect execution, would have been the wiser choice.

  6. The whole last paragraph of this article is false.
    The US government has nothing to do with this monument, besides donating the land it’s on. The money for this monument was raised by a private foundation, none of it comes from taxpayers.
    The making of the monument wasn’t a “government contract” at all. It’s the foundation that decided on the design and make of it. According to them they picked the chinese artist solely because of “his artistic ability — Lei’s skill at capturing personalities in sculptures, his expertise in hewing granite and his extensive experience with large public monuments.” So you can have a problem with the monument being made in China, but blaming the US government for it is nonsense.

  7. Their kung-fu is better than your kung-fu…

  8. Regardless of who paid for it, they couldn’t find a black artist to commission and donate the art? Must be a racist outfit…

  9. The sculptor has already done TWO statues of the famous “civil rights leader” Mao Tse-tung. Great! (I am more and more ashamed of my country each day.)

  10. awwww, come on! MLK would have been like yea, minority power! So minority it’s actually not even in this country!

    Also, does anyone else hear the words “I pity the Racist foo!” when you look at his pose XD

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