Mansu Hill Kim Il-sung statue under wraps

UPDATE 4 (2011-9-9): The statue appears to no longer be under wraps.  It was covered up apparently to protect it from nearby construction debris. Read more here.

UPDATE 3 (2011-6-30): According to images on display at the 2011 Pyongyang Architecture Exhibition, the Mansudae Grand Monument appears to keep its basic structure after the renovations are completed.  So this raises the question of what exactly they are doing to the statue…

Pictured above are architectural  and satellite imagery of Pyongyang’s  Mansudae area, currently under renovation.

UPDATE 2 (2011-6-8): According to the Pyongyang Times, the North Koreans are building “a monumental structure in the area in central Pyongyang where the statue of President Kim Il Sung stands”.

UPDATE 1 (2011-6-5): We have some pictures of the monument renovation:

Pictured above we can see a recent photo of the Kim Il-sung statue at the Mansudae Grand Monument.  It is covered in a white sheet (or plaster?).  There is some scaffolding around the lower half of the statue and a crane overhead.

The surrounding neighborhood is also being renovated.

ORIGINAL POST (2011-6-1):

Pictured above (Google Earth): The Kim Il-sung statue on Mansu Hill, Pyongyang

A recent visitor to the DPRK emailed me to say that the Mansudae Grand Monument has been covered up and will be closed to visitors until next March.  It appears they are renovating the national icon for Kim Il-sung’s 100th birthday next year.

I am unsure if just the Kim Il-sung statue is covered or if the entire monument is under wraps.

An undertaking this prestigious would have to be approved at “the highest level”.

Construction of the Tower of the Juche Idea was similarly shrouded in secrecy until it was unveiled to Kim Il-sung in 1982 to commemorate his 70th birthday.

Projects like this are conducted by a special division of the Mansudae Art Studio located in Phyongchon District, Pyongyang.

The Pyongyang residential neighborhood to the south of the monument is also being renovated.

If you plan on visiting the DPRK in the near future, please try and get a picture!

 

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