A huge statue of Chairman Mao Zedong, 36.6 meters in height, is seen under construction at Zhushigang village in Tongxu County, China, on Jan. 4.
ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images
January 8, 2016 10:56 AM EST

A giant golden statue of Chairman Mao in China’s Tongxu County that captivated the Internet in recent days appears to have been suddenly torn down.

According to the New York Times, demolition teams arrived Thursday and by Friday morning the 120-foot-tall statue of Mao Zedung had been destroyed. China’s People’s Daily, an official newspaper of the Communist Party, tweeted that the structure had been demolished because it lacked the approval from authorities:

The New York Times said it reached out to various government authorities in the region, none of whom could confirm the demolition.


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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.berenson@time.com.

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