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Massive Statue Of Communist Leader Mao Zedong Destroyed In China

Bye bye, giant Mao.

Last updated on January 8, 2016, at 6:39 a.m. ET

Posted on January 5, 2016, at 4:55 a.m. ET

UPDATE

Massive Mao is no longer.

It appears the giant Mao statue has been vandalized and partly destroyed. Pictures circulating Friday showed the statue with his hands, legs, and feet hacked off. He also had a black cloth over his head, The Guardian reported on Friday. Original story below.

Devastating news: giant golden Chairman Mao statue torn down in Henan province, locals say https://t.co/Y8T370KSeM

This is Chinese communist leader Chairman Mao Zedong. He ruled China until his death in 1976.

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

Despite being blamed for the deaths of tens of millions of people when his "Great Leap Forward" caused a terrible famine, Mao is still revered by many in China.

Now villagers in Henan province, one of China's poorest regions, have built a statue of Mao.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

It's ~really~ big.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

The massive Mao is about 36 metres tall or 15 storeys high.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images
Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

Farmers and local business owners paid for the statue to be built on vacant land in Tongxu county near Kaifeng.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

It cost 3 million yuan (US$460,000) to build and is made of concrete and steel and is covered in gold paint, the South China Morning Post reported.

While tourists have reportedly flocked to the site, not everyone loves massive Mao.

China Stringer Network / Reuters

"How about using the money for poverty alleviation first?" one commenter said, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. "Besides, it's so ugly—doesn't look a bit like [Mao]."

But Liu Jianwu, the dean of China's Mao Zedong research centre, said: "In contemporary China, Mao Zedong represents the embodiment of fairness and justice," The Guardian reported.

"In the hearts of ordinary people, Mao represents fairness and justice. So people hold these kinds of emotions towards him."

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