as a weekly practice I listen to npr and do a little sketch on one of the stories. take a look, you can click on the illustration to make it bigger!

Monday, May 12, 2008

commission calls for mlk statue's redesign.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is going to be big. The site for it is a four-acre plot on the Tidal Basin, not far from the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.In the original design for the MLK memorial, a bust of King emerges almost organically out of the side of the Stone of Hope. To get to the stone, a visitor would walk through two rocks symbolizing the Mountain of Despair. That design won the competition set up by the U.S. Fine Arts Commission, the federal agency that approves anything that gets built on the National Mall.

But in the new model for the statue, King is much bigger. His arms are crossed defiantly and he has a solemn look on his face. In a letter calling for revisions to the statue, Thomas Luebke, who heads the commission, said King's character had gone from "meditative" to "confrontational."

The new design for the statue was carved by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin. And any controversy about his work is fodder for the people who opposed the decision to hire him in the first place. The MLK National Memorial Foundation was criticized for not hiring an American artist. Lei has carved many Chinese officials over the years, including Communist leader Mao Zedong.

-excerpt from NPR

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