Sunday, August 22, 2010
Statue design ripped off by Chinese manufacturers
From the Daily News:
There's something unseemly about a Statue of Liberty souvenir that says "Made in China."
Yet there they are by the thousands - pink, white and blue in Times Square gift shops.
Workers in Shanghai making just $197 a month churn them out by the truckload. No wonder China just passed Japan to become the world's second-largest economy, gaining on us fast.
Don't get me wrong. China makes cool souvenirs of New York City. Like the water tower bank, King Kong climbing the Empire State Building eraser and the skyline-in-a-book keychain complete with pop-up midtown and foldout Central Park.
I just wish they didn't all seem to be made in Guangzhou.
So does Ovidiu Colea. The Romanian immigrant, who did five years in a labor camp, says it's strange that a country with few freedoms mass-produces our most recognizable symbol.
"I find it very ironic," Colea says from his small Colbar Art factory near Calvary Cemetery in Blissville, Queens.
As workers finessed the folds on Lady Liberty's resin robes, added silver crowns and dipped her torch in gold elixir, Colea, a 71-year-old sculptor with hands like mitts, observed: "China makes so many freedom symbols, but their country is not free. Their people are not free. People here fought for liberty; they died for liberty."