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Enormous golden Mao statue built in Chinese village

A giant golden statue of China's Chairman Mao Zedong has been constructed in China's countryside. Some have criticized the statue's placement at the site of a previous famine which killed millions.

The construction of a massive golden statue of Communist China's founding father Chairman Mao Zedong, is now complete, according to Chinese reports on Monday. The statue, which is 37 meters (121 feet) tall, towers over the empty countryside of China's central Henan province.

The construction took nine months to complete and was finished in December. A Chinese news website, HMR.cn, reported that it was privately-funded.

Although Mao has been blamed for millions of deaths, he remains highly revered in China. Current Chinese President Xi Jinping called Mao a "great figure" while also supporting the Communist party's conclusion in the 1980s that the leader had also made "mistakes" during his rule.

A giant golden statue of Chinese late chairman Mao Zedong is under construction near crop fields in Zhushigang village, Tongxu county, Kaifeng city, central China's Henan province

Controversy arose over the statue's location in the Henan province where a 1950's famine caused by Mao's policies killed around 40 million people

Pictures of the statue circulated online on Tuesday, eliciting both praise and condemnation on social media.

Some criticized the location of the statue in the Henan province, where a famine in the 1950s killed around 40 million people as a result of Mao's economic policies.

"Have you forgotten about the Great Famine, building that?" wrote one user on Weibo, China's version of Twitter. Still, others were impressed by the statue's height and its thoughtful, golden gaze.

Mao was born on December 26th in 1893 and he went on to found the People's Republic of China after the civil war in 1949. His attempt to quickly industrialize China and bring the country forward on the world stage led to one of the worst famines in history. He died in 1976.

In 2009, a 32-meter high bust of Mao was built in the village of Changsha to commemorate the leader's 115th birthday.

rs/msh (AFP)

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