A discarded head is placed on the ground next to a giant statue of Chinese late chairman Mao Zedong under construction near crop fields in a village of Tongxu county, Henan province, China, January 4, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer
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A Chinese village has abruptly demolished a statue of communist China's founder, Mao Zedong, after images of the structure covered in gold paint and looming 37 meters (120 feet) high over farmland attracted heated discussion on social media.Although the official reason for the demolition is unknown, with even a high-level Communist Party newspaper struggling to explain the episode, the rise and fall of the Mao monument in central China's rural Henan province highlights the political sensitivities in the country surrounding a historical figure alternatively revered and criticized by both the public and the government.Last month, the Global Times, a Communist Party tabloid, reported on the latest Mao statue to rise in rural northwestern China, where villagers sang revolutionary songs in a quasi-religious ceremony that featured "ecstatic dance" and a shamanistic figure brandishing a sword.
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