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English>>China Society

Statue's sudden arrival, departure create controversy (2)

By Cao Yin, Mao Weihua  (China Daily)

08:34, August 21, 2012

The statue of a flying Apsara stands at an intersection in Urumqi, the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, on Aug 6 when it was completed.

The flying Apsara image comes from the Dunhuang frescoes in Gansu province, world famous for their beauty. But most netizens complained that the sculpture was ugly and did not represent a traditional image of female beauty.

Ablimit Mijit, an Urumqi resident, said on Monday that the semi-clothed Apsara statue was difficult for some Muslim ethnic groups to accept, and it would not give people from outside a clear understanding of the city's culture.

"A city gains beauty when it is adorned by sculptures," said Wang Shengcheng, another city resident, but he added that the sculpture's style and quality fell beneath the city's standards.

Wang also said he could not understand why such a huge statue was dismantled in such a short time and why public opinion was not solicited either before it was put up or removed.

One Urumqi resident registered a micro blog account in the name Santunbei Goddess, a reference to the statue. Since Aug 9, the blog has been followed by 420 netizens and has published 165 postings.

"I know many people were displeased with the sculpture, but I hoped the dispute will also attract more visitors to our city," said the micro-blogger, who did not want to be identified.

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