I had to go here…I heard about it this morning and thought it to not only be comical, but sad at the same time.
Apparently, a Chinese Sculptor was chosen to sculptthe MLK Memorial but to add insult to injury, even the granite used will come from China! Now don’t get me wrong, but I just don’t see why an American sculptor wasn’t used or at least the granite come from America! You know the country where Dr. King actually worked, died, and is being immortalized in the Nations capital!
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how costly importing granite from China would cost, but get this: An American granite firm offered the granite at cost!
A good link for more info is:
BILL TUCKER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Martin Luther King was a man who rose from the red clay of Georgia to profoundly shape his country. His legacy is now being honored on the Washington National Mall with a monument. The memorial, known as the Stone of Hope, will be the first honoring an African-American and it will be carved by a Chinese sculptor using Chinese stone in communist China.
GILBERT YOUNG, WWW.KINGISOURS.COM: We have a moral right and obligation to create this memorial from a black perspective, so the world can see our artistry and what Dr. King really fought for.
TUCKER: So far, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has raised $78 million of the needed $100 million to complete the project. $10 million of those are taxpayer funds.
The foundation’s board, which is 90 percent African-American, declined our request for an interview, but did give us this statement. Quote: “Those who built America’s Mall drew on the talents of the world. Dr. King would be pleased that the memorial project is holding truth to his words — that we are judging people not by the color of their skin but the content of their character.”
BARBARA ANDREWS, NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM: While pleased about the larger world situation in which a Chinese artist could in fact sculpt Martin Luther King, I think he would be disappointed to know that an African-American artist and/or an American was not chosen.
REV. JESSE JACKSON, RAINBOW/PUSH COALITION: It’s time I see another event honoring Dr. King by those who did not know him or walk with him. They get further and further away from the authentic or from the original. We must fight for the authenticity of the Martin Luther King that lived, that we knew.
TUCKER: Construction is scheduled to begin late this year.
TUCKER: And of course, the irony is cruel and inescapable — the contract for the stone and the statue of the man who birthed and led the civil rights movement here in America, Lou, goes, of course, to one of the world’s most oppressive regimes.
DOBBS: The cost of granite in the United States versus the cost of granite in China?
TUCKER: Not an issue. In fact, I spoke with a stone supplier today, a carver up in New England, who said they would have done any stone — mason in the country would have done it at mere cost, because they wanted to have that contract.
DOBBS: And what did Jesse Jackson mean, the authenticity of Martin Luther King? Does he believe it should have been an African- American artist?
TUCKER: Yes. Yes, he believes it should have been an African- American artist here in America, who has a connection to the legacy of Dr. King.
DOBBS: Thank you very much. Bill Tucker, appreciate it.
The last monument to be built on the Mall was the World War II memorial. That memorial, which opened to the public in 2094, built using 100,000 cubic feet of granite. The primary contract supplier for the memorial: New England Stone. It placed a bid, by the way, we’re told, to build the Martin Luther King memorial, but never received a response from the Martin Luther King memorial people.
The company says, quote — “Given that there are over 50 active granite quarries domestically offering a full palette of colors, it boggles one’s mind to think the selection committee couldn’t find an American stone to represent one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century.”
We found there is, in fact, plenty of granite produced in this country. In 2005, the United States produced 416 metric tons of the stone, valued at more than $100 million. And by the way, this building we’re broadcasting from tonight, the Time Warner Center, home to our studios here, built with granite from New England Stone. Not exactly a small project either.
Americans — well, they’ve got plenty to say about plans to honor one of America’s greatest civil rights icons with a memorial made in communist China. The groundbreaking for the monument is set for December 2008. We’ll continue to bring you all of the latest developments.
Let’s listen to what some of those folks had to say.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It should be done by an American artist with American stone in America.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Martin Luther King is American, so it should be here, not in China.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What he did helped the entire world, so it doesn’t matter where it comes from.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Martin Luther King was here. He wasn’t in China. It should be built here.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I’m all in favor of the statue of Martin Luther King, but I think it ought to be made by an American artist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Martin Luther King did things here in America, but it’s affected everyone worldwide. So if it’s done in China, I don’t think that’s a problem.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It should be done by an American artist.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Importing something all the way from China for what it is an American monument just doesn’t make any sense.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
DOBBS: You know, I’ve just got an idea for everybody to consider here. Why not have the Chinese government build their own monument to Martin Luther King in Beijing, in advance of the Olympics? It would be a great statement. It would honor the internationalism that the Martin Luther King people talked about, their committee. And let’s find an African-American, an American artist, and use a little of that stone here. Everybody would be happy. We’ll see.
That brings us to the subject of our poll. Do you believe the memorial to the icon of this country’s civil rights movement should be crafted by an American artist and created of American stone? We would love to hear what you think about this. Send your votes to us at loudobbs.com. Yes or no? We’ll have the results upcoming.