CHANGSHA, China (UPI) -- A 24 1/2-foot statue of China`s Mao Zedong is to arrive in Tibet, the peaceful Himalayan Buddhist territory occupied by the late Grat Helmsman`s Red Army in 1951.
The 35-ton figure is a gift to the small Tibetan town of Gongga from Mao`s birthplace of Changsha in the southern Hunan province, The Times of London reports.
A government official was quoted as saying: 'Tibet does not need only material development. It must also meet the more spiritual needs of its people.'
Tibet reportedly requested the gift. Its designer Zhu Weijing said: 'I tried to understand how Tibetans feel towards Mao. Because they have deep feelings about Buddha, I tried to make Mao more like that, with a plumper face.'