In 2005, on my second trip to the far western city of Kashgar, I spotted this odd sight in my hotel lobby. There he was, the Great Helmsman himself, sitting behind a counter of trinkets. I’m still not sure if he was for sale, or if the proprietor of the little hotel shop thought his placement there would attract customers. Either way, I had a good chuckle.
More recently, he popped up in a field in Henan Province, where some local villagers decided to build a giant statue in the middle of a field.
Is it just me, or does that statue look like it’s made out of butter? Perhaps it’s really being built for the Minnesota State Fair!
In the end, however, the statue got too much press worldwide and embarrassed the local officials, so they ordered it taken down.
As they say in China, “what a pity!”