In celebration of the 200th anniversary of his birth, the Peoples Republic of China sent a statue of Karl Marx to his home town:
With Germany unsure about how to mark 200 years since Karl Marx was born, a giant bronze statue of the philosopher given by China to the town of his birth is adding to the unease.
The small town of Trier near Luxembourg in western Germany eventually decided to accept the 4.5m (15ft) statue created by China’s most famous sculptor – but only after years of wrangling over whether taking it would appear to condone rights abuses in China.
Marx co-wrote the Communist Manifesto, which said that all of human history had been based on class struggle. China’s capitalist government presents his work as central to its way of governing.
But Marx also remains a controversial figure among Germans, many of whom lived under the Soviet Union’s communist government his work inspired.
Somewhere in Beijing, a mid-level bureaucrat is having a laugh at this whole thing.