domingo, mayo 13, 2007


Portrait of communist leader damaged
29 minutes ago
BEIJING - A man threw a burning object at a portrait of Mao Zedong that hangs over Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, slightly damaging it and prompting police to close the nearby imperial palace, a news report said Sunday.
The man, identified as Gu Hai'ou, from the northwestern city of Urumqi, tried to burn the portrait of communist China's first leader on Saturday afternoon, the Xinhua News Agency said. Early Sunday, authorities replaced the portrait, which had a small scorch mark in the lower left corner.
"Armed police are guarding the area and visitors are forbidden to enter the Forbidden City," Xinhua said.
Gu, who is 35 and unemployed, was detained and was being questioned by police, Xinhua said. The report said he was treated last year in a mental hospital.
An officer who answered the phone at the Beijing police headquarters Sunday confirmed the report but refused to say whether Gu would face criminal charges or give other details. The man refused to give his name. Phone calls to the police station that oversees Tiananmen Square were not answered.
Portraits of Mao have hung on the Tiananmen Gate above the square since the 1950s.
In 1989, three men were detained for throwing red and black paint on the portrait during pro-democracy protests. They served more than 10 years in prison.
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