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School contributors chiseled into goddesses

(Shanghai Daily)

20:45, December 07, 2011

Two campus statues in a university in northwest China drew much controversy as they have the bodies of Athena and Nuwa, goddesses in Greek and Chinese mythologies but the faces of two school board members as an honor for their contributions.

Photos taken in the Northwest University in Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi Province show the statue of Athena with a long robe and a gilded staff, but she has the face of a Chinese woman modeled on the school's board member surnamed Guo. The statue of Nuwa, however, wears a face of another board member surnamed Li.

A heated debate ensued after the photos were uploaded online. Some said they were amused by the statues which mix the images of goddesses and women they never knew.

Some netizens consider the statues a typical Chinese creation to bootlick authorities and an insult to both Greek and Chinese goddesses.

A university official surnamed Cao told the Chongqing Commercial Daily that the statues are merely "art works" with inspiration from real life.

"Have any of you ever seen the faces of Athena or Nuwa?" he questioned the newspaper reporter.

He said the statues were erected to honor two board members for their great contributions to the university, but admitted that it was probably inappropriate to compare the two women contributors to goddesses.

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