China spending S$32m to relocate S$35m statue after locals call it ugly

The statue also exceeded local height restrictions.

Tanya Ong | September 05, 2021, 02:48 PM

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A 58-metre tall bronze statue in Jingzhou, China, is being relocated at a staggering cost of 155 million yuan (S$32 million).

Massive Guan Yu statue

The statue was built as a monument to Guan Yu, a military general who was deified after his death.

According to SCMP, the statue was completed in 2016 with the hopes that it would be included in the Guinness World Records. It was dubbed the world's biggest bronze statue of Guan Yu.

The massive statue cost 170 million yuan (S$35 million) to build, and sits on top of a museum.

Screengrab via Zaiyeshuo/YouTube video

Screengrab via Zaiyeshuo/YouTube video

Drew criticisms

The statue, unfortunately, has drawn criticisms from the government for being "vain" and "wasteful", SCMP reported in a 2020 article.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural development demanded the statue be removed last year, saying that it ruined the "character and culture" of Jingzhou.

Locals also criticised the statue, SCMP stated, calling it "ugly".

A man who had spent four years studying in Jingzhou was also quoted saying that "Jingzhou locals don't go there."

A reporter who had gone down down to the scene in May 2020 also said that they did not observe any tourists entering Guan Gong Yi Yuan, the park where the statue was located, in the hour that they were there.

It was reported that as of March 2019, locals may enter the park for free while tourists can enter at a cost of 40 yuan (S$8.30) per ticket.

Problems from the previous year

The statue also ran into problems last year when the land beneath it started to sink under its weight. Cracks were observed at the base of the statue, with the widest gap being 7cm.


In addition, the construction of the statue broke local rules limiting the maximum height of structures in Jingzhou's ancient city.

A director in the city's planning bureau admitted that they did not know about the approval procedures related to large sculptures, Sixth Tone reported.

The statue will be moved to a suburban tourist precinct nearby.

Photos circulating online showed that the head of the statue has already been removed.

Photo via Weibo.

Top photo via Zaiyeshuo/YouTube video