The new statue honouring civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr was unveiled in Washington, the first memorial on the Mall not dedicated to a war, president or white man.
The new statue honouring civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr was unveiled, the first memorial on the National Mall in Washington. It is the only memorial on the Mall that does not honour a president or fallen soldiers.
The winning design from an international contest was inspired by the line from Dr King’s I Have a Dream speech,
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
The 30 foot Dr King’s sculpture was created by Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor who is a Chinese citizen.
“I’m very honoured to have the opportunity to do this great job. Martin Luther King is not only a hero of America, he’s also a hero of the world and his pursuit is a universal dream of the people of the world”
Yixin said through a translator.
Yixin and a team carved and assembled the stone and mountain from 159 blocks of Atlantic Green granite and Kenoran Sage granite from North America, as well as granite from Asia.
The memorial will be presented to President Barack Obama and dedicated in a celebration on Sunday August 28, marking the anniversary of the Dream speech delivered from the steps of the nearby Lincoln Memorial 48 years ago.
Dr King, the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize and the leader of the American Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 60s, led a peaceful march on Washington in 1963. A crowd of 250,000 heard his DREAM speech at the march, five years before his assassination in Memphis on April 4, 1968.