Under Humble Austerity Policy China Builds $11.4 Million Giant Brass Puffer Fish
"A puffer fish statue in Yangzhong has raised ire in view of a government pledge to end spending on vanity projects." Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.
(p. 6) HONG KONG -- Chinese Communist Party leaders' vows of a new era of humble austerity in government may have met their most exotic adversary yet: an $11 million, 2,300-ton, 295-foot-long puffer fish.
The brass-clad statue, which shimmers golden in the sunlight and switches into a garish light show at night, was built by the city of Yangzhong, in Jiangsu Province in eastern China, . . .
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Chinese news outlets said the brass and steel for the fish cost about $1.7 million, raising questions about where the rest of the money went. Construction of the fish tower began on a previously isolated and undeveloped river island in March, four months after Mr. Xi was appointed party leader.
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. . . China is speckled with outlandish works of official art that vie with even a giant, glow-in-the-dark puffer fish for attention and outrage.
Critics berated a county in Guizhou Province for building "the world's biggest teapot," a 243-foot-high teapot-shaped tower, complete with spout, that was part of a $13 million project.
In Henan Province, in central China, a government-backed charity has been accused of corruption in spending about $19.6 million on a vast, unsightly sculpture of Song Qingling, the widow of Sun Yat-sen, a revered founder of modern China. Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, is also home to a sculpture of two pigs in a frolicking embrace. From certain angles, the pigs might appear to be mating.
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(Note: the online version of the review has the date October 12, 2013.)