Mansudae Grand Monument
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Mansudae Grand Monument information
Every itinerary features this larger-than-life bronze statue of the Great Leader, to which a statue of Kim Jong-il in his trademark parka was added in 2012 following the Dear Leader’s death. The first statue was unveiled in 1972 to celebrate Kim Il-sung's 60th birthday. It was originally covered in gold leaf, but apparently at the objection of the Chinese, who were effectively funding the North Korean economy, this was later removed in favour of the scrubbed bronze on display today.
As the epicentre of the Kim cult, visitors need to be aware of the seriousness (officially, at least) with which North Koreans regard this monument and the respect they believe foreigners should accord it. Your tour leader will usually buy flowers and elect one member of the group to place them at the statue’s feet. As this is done, the whole group will be expected to bow. Photographers will be instructed never to photograph one part of the monument – all pictures should be of the entire statue to avoid causing offence.