WASHINGTON – The Chinese sculptor who created the Martin Luther King Memorial on the National Mall in Washington said Thursday that a disputed inscription on its side has been completely removed.
Lei Yixin told reporters that his team, which has been at work all week, is putting the final touches on the white granite monument ahead of the 50th anniversary of civil rights leader’s “I Have a Dream” address.
Dedicated two years ago, the much-visited landmark features several historic quotations from King, who was assassinated by a sniper in Memphis, Tennessee, in April 1968.
But one inscription — “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness” — was challenged by critics who thought it cast King in an arrogant light. What King actually said, in a sermon two months before his death, was humbler in tone. It began: “Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice.”
Lei’s work will cost an estimated $800,000.