More than half a million people are expected in the nation’s capital for the first viewing of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial statue in August. But the statue has sparked controversy on MLK’s appearance.
According to critics, sculptor Lei Yixin made MLK statue look Asian, it reflects MLK with his arms crossed (which is considered confrontational) and the statue should have been done by an American.
MLK’s son feels differently about the statue.
“I’ve seen probably 50 sculptures of my dad and I would say 47 of them are not good reflections — that’s not to disparage an artist,” Martin Luther King III said to USA Today. “This particular artist — he’s done a good job.”
Sculptor Ed Dwight said you cannot expect MLK’s son to say anything else, the statue is done.
“He should have gotten involved in that process earlier in the game,” Dwight said.
Dwight said his original sculptor was more spiritual and the chosen one is confrontational.
MLK Foundation responded to the controversy.
“We are guided by stated belief that ‘we should not judge a person by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.’” the foundation quoted. “In keeping with with Dr. King’s belief in equality and opportunity for all, the foundation’s selection process was international and open.”