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Gundam Lookalike Statue Removed From Chinese Theme Park

posted on by Egan Loo
Floraland officials deny statue's existence to news agency; website removes image

Witnesses report that the orange statue with a striking resemblance to Sunrise's Gundam robotic mecha was suddenly removed from a Chinese amusement park as of Tuesday. Park officials also denied the existence of the statue to the news agency Agence France-Presse. The Floraland (Chengdu Guosetianxiang) park's website removed the image of the statue from one of its pages. (A sample of the original image appears at right.)

The Fuji News Network (FNN) had posted video confirmation of the statue's presence at the park in the central Chinese province of Sichuan as recently as Monday. FNN's video report included an audio recording of a public relations representative from the park insisting that the statue is a "completely original" design. However, the representative acknowledged, "Since there are reports of similarities, we are currently working on modifications."

The theme park had covered the statue's face with a vinyl sheet before its removal, and the people working at the park told FNN that the sheet was necessary "for final modifications."

According to the Chinese park's website, the orange statue would have been decorated to "light up the Christmas night." The website had listed the height of the statue as "15 meters" (about 49 feet), but it then listed "20 meters" (66 feet). A 18-meter-tall (59-foot-tall) "life-size" Gundam statue once stood at Tokyo's Odaiba Island and now stands in the central Japanese city of Shizuoka. While the Shizuoka statue is made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic over a steel frame, the Chengdu Guosetianxiang statue is made from nylon cloth stretched over a metal frame.

Sotsu, the primary copyright holder of Gundam, said that it was "investigating" the facts of the matter before the statue's removal.

Sources: Sankei Sports, Agence France-Presse

This article has a follow-up: Gundam Lookalike Statue Reappears with Changes (2011-01-30 12:44)
follow-up of Chinese Theme Park: Statue Is Not Copied From Gundam (Updated)
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