DENVER (CBS4) – There was plenty of praise for new Martin Luther King Jr. Monument in Washington, which was dedicated over the weekend, but one Denver man is deeply critical of it.
Ed Dwight is one of America’s most prominent black sculptors. He says he was originally picked to lead the project and be the “sculptor of record” by the memorial foundation.
Instead, the honor ended up with not an African American, but a sculptor from China named Lei Yixin.
In an interview with CBS4 Dwight criticized the style Yixin chose for the sculpture of Martin Luther King.
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“Here’s a man of the cloth and there’s nothing (in the sculpture) to indicate he was a man of God,” said Dwight.
Ed Jackson, the executive architect for the Martin Luther King Foundation, defended the choice of Yixin.
“The selection of the sculptor was not based on the country of origin but the content of his character and the talent that he could bring that we had to the task we had at hand,” Jackson said.
The likeness of the civil rights leader was cleared with his own children, who selected the image, but Dwight believes King would have wanted an African American for the job.
“He was worried for jobs about for black Americans,” Dwight said. “The man got killed in Memphis for the garbage workers.”