The grand unveiling of a monument to commemorate the legacy of slain rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Boston was greeted with both reverence and mockery with many praising the 20-foot-high bronze statue and others criticizing what they clearly feel is a monstrosity.
On Friday, at a ceremony attended by Beantown city leaders, the suspense was brought to an end when the tarp came down and the statue, a likeness of Dr. King and his beloved wife Coretta Scott King locked in an embrace inspired by a famous photo, was revealed, kicking off a long weekend of tributes that will culminate with parades and other events dedicated to his memory on Monday, a federal holiday to honor him.
The $10 million statue which is named “The Embrace” features the arms of the two civil rights leaders after Dr. King had won the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize, designed by the renowned conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas, it was built in Walla Walla, Washington and transported across the country to its location in the Freedom Plaza of the Boston Common, the nation’s oldest public park where it was formally unveiled to the crowd.
(Video: The Daily Mail)
Reactions were mixed with many gushing with praise for monument to King.
“The Embrace will be a revolutionary space in our country’s oldest public park for conversation, education, and reflection on the Kings’ impact in Boston and the ideals that continue to shape the fabric of our city,” said said Beantown’s Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu.
Democrat Rep. Ayanna Pressley whose congressional district included Boston, spoke at the ceremony where she hailed the unique statue.
The @EmbraceBOS is a reflection of Martin & Coretta's love—& their bold vision for revolutionary change.
It’s also a reminder of the Work that remains to build a world that centers justice, equity & our collective liberation.
Proud to join the Kings for this official unveiling. pic.twitter.com/w33FDuVXSj
— Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (@RepPressley) January 13, 2023
However, others where aghast at the bizarre piece of artwork.
This is insane. https://t.co/H9HpqM8xl8
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) January 14, 2023
Massachusetts is losing tax revenue. Many are leaving & businesses are shutting down. Our roads are in bad shape. Public transportation is not dependable BUT no worries cuz we now have a huge statue of MLK & his wife (only their arms) in the middle of Boston Common. #mapoli pic.twitter.com/Zpz7jfAG0Z
— Fibci (@Fibci2) January 13, 2023
They sure didn’t do MLK any favors with that garbage looking sculpture.
— Silvina (@SilvinaFlorida) January 14, 2023
The original photo this inspired was beautiful and perfect. Why not just honor that with a replica instead of this horrible odd weirdly sexualized bronze blob… #mlksculpture #MLK pic.twitter.com/8COvxHhEoP
— Shireen Qudosi (@ShireenQudosi) January 15, 2023
What is this monstrosity?
MLK deserved better. Perhaps an actual statue including his face rather than one where he looks like he is groping someone’s thigh.
Democrats really cannot do statues.
I think I preferred the ones of the old Confederate Generals on their horses. https://t.co/Y2Y2xcIkz3
— Miss Jo (@therealmissjo) January 14, 2023
A useless symbolic gesture of a headless statue that needs the actual photo it's based on, to even know what ppl are looking at, is an insult to MLK & Black Americans 😑 https://t.co/JyxqHd6OEE
— WolfWallStreet (@_KeepItGulley_) January 14, 2023
With the statue’s lack of any actual resemblance to Dr. King, casual observers would be free to let their imaginations run wild and some took to Twitter with their opinions that it appears to be pornographic.
I have some questions about the MLK sculpture in Boston pic.twitter.com/KVSKmdSw5S
— Marie Sheehan RMA (@irshhnr4) January 14, 2023
— The Legion of Steves (For We Are Many) (@LegionSteves) January 14, 2023
“Ten million dollars were wasted to create a masturbatory metal homage to my legendary family members.”
Seneca Scott, a relative of MLK and Coretta Scott King, rips the new Boston statue “honoring” the pair.
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) January 15, 2023
Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Americans ever, Dr. King’s legacy includes his immense contribution to civil rights in an era when true racism and oppression were commonplace.
(Video: Fox News)
Dr. King and his wife first met in Boston when they were young students, making a connection with the city that they loved.
‘They both loved this city because of its proud heritage as a hotbed of the abolitionist movement and its unique intellectual and educational resources,’ said their son, Martin Luther King III, said during the dedication of the new monument.
“The Embrace is a bronze figural abstraction based on a photo of an embrace between Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King after he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The 20-foot-tall, 25-foot-wide artwork differs from the singular, heroic form of many memorials to Dr. King and others, instead emphasizing the power of collective action, the role of women as leaders, and the forging of new bonds of solidarity out of mutual empathy and vulnerability,” according the City of Boston’s website.
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