Who moved Confucius?

A mystery in Beijing: A statue of Chinese thinker Confucius has been moved from a prime spot near Tiananmen Square to a less visible location, triggering online speculation Thursday on whether politics was behind the move. The statue was unveiled in January at an entrance to China’s National Museum, which lies across from Tiananmen Square ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images
LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images
LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images

A mystery in Beijing:

A statue of Chinese thinker Confucius has been moved from a prime spot near Tiananmen Square to a less visible location, triggering online speculation Thursday on whether politics was behind the move.

The statue was unveiled in January at an entrance to China's National Museum, which lies across from Tiananmen Square and its hallowed Communist monuments, not far from a huge portrait of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

A mystery in Beijing:

A statue of Chinese thinker Confucius has been moved from a prime spot near Tiananmen Square to a less visible location, triggering online speculation Thursday on whether politics was behind the move.

The statue was unveiled in January at an entrance to China’s National Museum, which lies across from Tiananmen Square and its hallowed Communist monuments, not far from a huge portrait of revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

The appearance in Beijing of the 7.9-metre (26-foot) tall statue was seen as a sign the ancient philosopher was back in favour after his teachings were suppressed for decades during Mao’s campaigns to denounce backward ways.

But fevered speculation filled some Chinese microblogs and chatrooms Thursday when it was discovered it had suddenly been moved to an inner courtyard of the museum complex and largely out of sight.

It seems unlikely that Confucius has fallen out of favor. The government backed a $22 million biopic of the philosopher starring Chow Yun Fat just last year. 

 

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

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