A giant golden statue of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong is under construction in a field in Zhushigang village, Tongxu county, Central China’s Henan Province, on January 4. Local authorities told the People’s Daily on Friday that the statue has been removed, because the construction was not approved by the local government. Photo: hnr.cn

A county in North China denied online reports that they had demolished a statue of Chairman Mao Zedong at a local village because they disrespected the former Chinese leader. 

Government of Fuping county, North China’s Hebei Province Sunday issued a statement on its WeChat account, saying the statue accidently fell due to strong gust on May 3 after it was temporarily stored in a local house, waiting to be returned to the factory for repairs.

Officials said that they returned the statue to the factory on May 23. Further investigation is still underway. 

The statement came after online reports of a statue in Huashan village, Fuping being demolished and abandoned at a local house went viral, with many netizens criticizing the behavior as very disrespectful to Chairman Mao, who was considered a major contributor to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. 

“Nobody forced you to build a statue of Mao, but as long as you built one, you should be responsible for it,” a user of Sina Weibo said. 

According to the statement, the statue of Chairman Mao was set up in Huashan village in November 2017 in memory of the former leader, who had worked in the village in May 1948. 

The statue, which was made of fiber-reinforced plastics, had faded and was partially damaged due to material reasons after more than a year, officials said.