Chinese Sculptors Brought in to Work on Martin Luther King Statue in D.C.

Saturday, September 18, 2010
Local members of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers union in Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. are protesting the decision by the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation to import artisans from China to work on a sculpture for the National Mall dedicated to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The union argues that it’s wrong to give the work to foreign workers at a time of high unemployment in the United States. Local 1 representatives are urging the Obama administration to deny visas to the Chinese workers to prevent them from doing the job.
The foundation’s president, Harry E. Johnson, counters that only the monument’s centerpiece, “The Stone of Hope,” will be worked on by Chinese artisans, and only eight to 12 of them at that, while the rest of the $120 million memorial project is being finished by Americans. The centerpiece was designed by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin.
Construction is scheduled to begin this fall and should take about 20 months to complete.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
A King Statue 'Made in China'? (by Ariana Eunjung Cha, Washington Post)


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