[KS] Gold leaf on the Kim Il Sung statue in the Mansudae Grand Monument?

Chris Springer springer at hiddenhistory.info
Wed Dec 26 03:08:03 EST 2012

There's a photo of the gilded Kim Il Sung statue in the North
Korean pictorial magazine "Democratic People's Republic of Korea,"
12/1977. It looks quite different from the bronze version. As
Ruediger Frank suggests, too much light reflects off the surface,
and the statue's contrasts are lost.

As Jim Hoare notes, the statue was erected in 1972. The gilding
was applied in 1977, according to Helen-Louise Hunter's book
"Kim Il Song's North Korea."

The Chinese delegation in question visited September 8-13, 1978,
and the gold was allegedly removed soon after, perhaps even that
same month. (Did Chinese objections lead to the degilding? This
has been reported but not solidly established.)

While gilding a statue seems extravagant, gold plating is typically
so thin that the cost of the gold itself is not necessarily prohibitive.

Chris Springer
"Pyongyang: The Hidden History of the North Korean Capital"

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