Chairman Mao statue in France sparks outrage

One of France’s most controversial Left-wing politicians has sparked a row from beyond the grave as a statue of Mao Tse-tung he commissioned before his death was finally erected.

People look at a sculpture of late Chinese leader Mao Zedong, a work of French artist Francois Cacheux, displayed in Montpellier, southern France

The 10ft-high of the leader of the Chinese Revolution was among five statues inaugurated on Tuesday in Montpellier, a town long under the control of Georges Freche, who died last year after commissioning 10 statues of “great figures of the 20th century”. It is the only such statue in Europe.

The other four erected this week in the town’s “20th century square” were of Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Nelson Mandela.

Mr Freche, a former Socialist was expelled by the party after claiming there were too many blacks in the French football team.

Until his death he was president of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and chairman of Montpellier’s development community, enjoying strong local support despite his controversial comments.

He was alive to relish the uproar when the first five statues went up in 2010 as they included an one-ton representation of Lenin, alongside the consensual figures of Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.


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