37-metre-tall golden Chairman Mao statue appears in the Chinese countryside

The statue is in Henan Province, the epicentre of a famine which killed millions partly brought on by Mao's policies

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The Independent Online

A giant golden statue of Chairman Mao has been built in the remote Chinese countryside.

The building of the huge sitting image of Mao Zedong, the late communist revolutionary and founding father of the People's Republic of China, was mostly funded by local businessmen, who poured 3 million yuan (£313,000) into the project.

Local farmers and villagers also made contributions towards the monument's construction.

The statue, which is around 37 metres high, is situated in a rural area of Tongxu county in Henan Province - the epicentre of a famine which killed tens of millions in the late 1950s, partly as a result of Mao's policies.

The smiling statue has faced criticism online, with some branding it a waste of money and pointing out the potential insensitivity of its location.

However, Mao is still revered as a hero by many Chinese citizens, including President Xi Jingping, who has previously praised the late dictator as a "great figure."

Recent images of the statue show it is still under construction, but once it is finished, the concrete and steel structure will show Mao sitting in a similarly large chair.