Things Semi-Calm Now with MLK Jr. Memorial

You might recall that, last week, we were back to talking about the troublesome Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, how now the government was involved in the debate over the sculpture (i.e. if artist Lei Yixin was making MLK look a little too tough and Mao Zedong-esque). Now that a week has passed and talks have gone back an forth, the requested changes have been submitted and approved, and it kind of seemed like everyone was getting back to normal and being happy with the changes. But, like anything involving any large group of people who feel passionate about something, we predict that there’s sure to be a bunch more yelling and tons more standstills, until sometime around 2026 when the memorial finally gets finished. Here’s a bit from the Washington Post about Yixin’s frustrations:

Initially, the arts commission “voted for it unanimously,” he said by telephone from his home in Changsha, China. “Now they say my statue is too confrontational.

“Some of them say my statue resembles dictators from communist or socialist countries, that it somewhat resembles Stalin or Lenin from the Soviet Union or Mao Zedong from China,” Lei said.

“The art of statues originally came from the West,” he said. “What is the difference in the style in the socialist countries? It’s like ballet. We Chinese can boast that our ballet is among the best in the world. Do not think it is different because it is Chinese.”

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