By Tim Binnall
Confirming that wasteful government spending and bureaucratic boondoggles occur in all nations around the world, officials in China have ordered the relocation of an enormous statue and the process is going to cost nearly as much as it did to build the controversial piece in the first place. The 190-foot-tall bronze statue, which weighs a jaw-dropping 1,200 tons, reportedly depicts third-century general Guan Yu, who has been deified in Chinese culture as the 'god of war.' Constructed in 2016 for a whopping $26 million, the piece was initially envisioned as something of a tourist attraction and point of civic pride as it is the largest representation of the historical figure in the world.
However, upon completion of the project, both residents and officials in China's central government soon had second thoughts about the impossible-to-miss addition to the city's skyline. The controversy was compounded by the fact that the company which build the piece managed to evade restrictions surrounding building heights because statutes, specifically, were not included in the regulations. Things came to a head last September when China's Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development issued a blistering statement which declared that the massive statue had "ruined the character and culture of Jingzhou as a historic city."
As such, the central government of China ultimately ordered the relocation of the statue to a spot approximately five miles away, where it would less of an eyesore to people living in the city. While one might think that such a short move would be simple to pull off, the project has proven to be rather troublesome given the statue's immense size. As work transporting the statue got underway this week, word emerged that the process is going to cost a staggering $23 million, which is just shy of what the bronze piece originally cost. It's uncertain as to whether or not anyone will get into any trouble for the embarrassing statue miscue, though one suspects it will be a long time before any similar pieces of immense artwork wind up being approved by the Chinese government.