A 36 metre high golden statue of Mao Zedong has been unexpectedly demolished after images of the structure which is covered in gold paint sparked heated discussion on social media.
Chinese state-run newspaper sources alleged that the statue was brought down by a local demolition team due to lack of government approval.
While the official reason for the demolition is unknown, the project costing entrepreneurs almost $500,000, elicited controversy on social media and the story was picked up by both local and international media.
According to a provincial newspaper, entrepreneurs allegedly decided to demolish Giant Mao because of the controversy it attracted online.
Since his passing, Mao has been both honoured as a founding senior and blamed for political disorder and disastrous economic policies that claimed the lives of millions.