Uhuru-Spirit News


March 14, 2017 | Uhuruspirit

A wooden representation of a statue of Karl Marx stood in the square in Trier, Germany, the city where Marx was born in 1818. The wooden stand-in was erected to give residents an idea of how a bronze statue — a gift from the Chinese government — would look. Credit Harald Tittel/Picture-Alliance, Associated Press

The German city of Trier has decided to accept a statue of Karl Marx from China, marking the 200th anniversary of the father of communism's birth.

Marx, the 19th-century intellectual, along with Friedrich Engels authored of the Communist Manifesto, which became one of the world's most influential political manuscripts.

Initial plans by Chinese sculptor Wu Weishan called for the statue and its pedestal to be 6.3 meters (21 feet) tall, led to criticism from some in the city.

In the end, a majority of the Council voted to accept the statue, although perhaps a smaller version of it than was originally envisioned, with a final height to be determined later. It would be unveiled as part of the city’s attempt to re-examine Marx’s work and the turbulent time in which he lived, through exhibitions and intellectual discussions.

The Chinese government agreed to cover about two-thirds of the cost of a pedestal for the statue and its installation, estimated at 105,000 euros, or about $112,000.

“Karl Marx is one of the most important citizens of this city, and we should not hide him,” the mayor of Trier, Wolfram Leibe, told the public broadcaster SWR before the vote.

Statues of Marx, who was born in Trier on May 5, 1818, and later lived in Berlin, London and Paris, were common throughout Eastern Europe during the Cold War, and several still survive in Germany’s formerly communist eastern states, including in Berlin. But his birthplace, firmly in the former West Germany, has struggled with how best to remember its famous son.

The city, which is on the banks of the Moselle River and in an important wine-producing area, has increasingly become a destination for tourists from China.

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