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Choice Of Chinese Artist Sparks Row Over King (MLK) Statue
The Guardian (UK) ^ | 7-23-2007 | Ed Pilkington

Posted on 07/23/2007 5:14:37 PM PDT by blam

Edited on 07/23/2007 5:16:05 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]

Choice of Chinese artist sparks row over King statue

Ed Pilkington in New York
Monday July 23, 2007
Guardian Unlimited (UK)

[Getty Image removed]

Martin Luther King Jr acknowledges the crowd after his ‘I have a dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC, in August 1963. Photograph: Francis Miller/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The plan to erect a giant memorial statue of Martin Luther King on the National Mall in Washington has become embroiled in controversy after it was decided to appoint a Chinese artist as the lead sculptor. Lei Yixin was spotted by a team from the King Memorial Foundation when he was taking part in a discussion on stone carving in Saint Paul, Minnesota, which is twinned with his home town of Changsha.

The foundation was looking for a sculptor capable of working with a huge block of granite that would become the centrepiece of the planned memorial: a nine-metre (30ft) statue of King called the Stone of Hope. But Mr Lei's promotion last month to the role of head artist, or "sculptor of record" has drawn heavy criticism. He replaced Ed Dwight, an African-American artist who had been in charge until he complained about Mr Lei's amendments to the design.

Mr Dwight says he has been told that Mr Lei had been promoted in the hope of attracting $25m (£12m) towards the costs of the project from the Chinese government - a claim the foundation denies.

Spearheading the protesters is a black artist from King's home town of Atlanta, Gilbert Young, who has set up a website, kingisours.com. Mr Young says it is "crazy" that the foundation could not find an African- American sculptor good enough to create a likeness of the civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: chinese; king; martinlutherking; mlk; race; racepimps; racism; statue

1 posted on 07/23/2007 5:14:41 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Is Lei the best artist? If so, nuf said..


2 posted on 07/23/2007 5:16:45 PM PDT by mnehring (Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit)
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To: blam

This sounds exactly like the racist arguments used against awarding the design of the Vietnam Memorial to an American of Asian descent (Maya Lin). If this guy is the best sculptor, that’s all that matters.


3 posted on 07/23/2007 5:18:52 PM PDT by Alter Kaker (Gravitation is a theory, not a fact. It should be approached with an open mind...)
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To: blam

Just a bit ironic that these people are more worried about the color of the skin instead of the content of the character (or sculpting ability).


4 posted on 07/23/2007 5:24:34 PM PDT by GnL
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To: blam

If we changed the words around, how would it sound? For instance:

“Mr Young says it is “crazy” that the foundation could not find WHITE sculptor good enough to create a likeness of the civil rights leader, who was assassinated in 1968.”

Does that sound racist? Darned straight it does.


5 posted on 07/23/2007 5:25:52 PM PDT by TWohlford
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To: blam

Are we outsourcing multiculturalism now?


6 posted on 07/23/2007 5:26:40 PM PDT by ruination
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To: blam

If they had chosen a black sculptor, would he have been black enough?


7 posted on 07/23/2007 5:29:32 PM PDT by etcetera (A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud)
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To: ruination

“Are we outsourcing multiculturalism now?”

No, we now claim that only black people can be multicultural.

Next, we’ll discuss why “diversity” never means that we’re short a few white guys.


8 posted on 07/23/2007 5:29:43 PM PDT by TWohlford
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To: blam
I wonder if there are enough people in the world who could carve this out of a 25 ton block of marble to be picky about their race?


9 posted on 07/23/2007 5:32:05 PM PDT by mnehring (Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit)
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To: GnL

My thought exactly. So much for the content of their character.


10 posted on 07/23/2007 5:56:08 PM PDT by digitalbrownshirt (http://digitalbrownshirt.blogspot.com)
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The Chinese still have a few schools, like the Beijing Academy devoted to classical realism. They have not lost all of their skills like the West did, by getting hoodwinked by Abstract Expressionism. Most artist in the West can only “express themselves” at this point. There are a few pockets of resistance in America, but the Chinese are more advanced in general when it comes to Realism, and making positive statements in public art because the Communist valued Realism.
11 posted on 07/23/2007 5:58:52 PM PDT by zeller the zealot (Are Republicans the Party of Life, or is that too risky?)
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To: blam

Well, it’s clear who the racists are here!! It’s “the color of their skin” that counts, and only that.


12 posted on 07/23/2007 6:02:47 PM PDT by sionnsar (trad-anglican.faithweb.com |Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: blam

If the “black community” is not happy with the selection of lead artist — then they should take over the task COMPLETELY - including the total cost of building this monument to a fraud.


13 posted on 07/23/2007 11:18:18 PM PDT by river rat (Semper Fi - You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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