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Marx statue unveiled in his home town on his 200th birthday

A STATUE of Karl Marx was unveiled in his birthplace, the German city of Trier, at the weekend to celebrate his 200th birthday.

The 14-foot likeness of the revolutionary thinker was designed by Chinese artist Wu Weishan and was a present from the People’s Republic of China to the city, which voted overwhelmingly to accept the gift last year.

Rhineland-Palatinate Governor Malu Dreyer called the unveiling “a bridge for our partnership” with the socialist country.

“Yes, we stand by the child of our city and we deal with Karl Marx in a constructive and active way. We are glad to receive this gesture of friendship,” said Ms Dreyer, a member of the Social Democrats.

Even European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, who has forced programmes of privatisation and attacks on workers’ pay and pensions on member states such as Greece, attended and praised Marx’s “creative aspirations” while attacking “atrocities” he said had been committed by Marx’s followers.

The “instability” of the European Union could be addressed by greater emphasis on “social welfare,” the former Luxembourg prime minister claimed, perhaps in a bid to resuscitate the “social Europe” mantra preached by EU chiefs before the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties enshrined “free market” principles in European law.

A Chinese delegation was present at the ceremony, which came a day after Chinese President Xi Jinping saluted Marx as “the greatest thinker of modern times.”

Marxism was an essential guide to the laws of history and “humanity’s search for its own liberation,” Mr Xi said.

Marx was “the teacher of revolution for the proletariat and working people of the world, the main founder of Marxism, creator of Marxist parties and path-finder of international communism.”

Events were held to celebrate Marx’s legacy around the world, including an international conference organised by the Marx Memorial Library in London.

Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary Sitaram Yechury told the packed hall that while Marx was in greater demand than ever since the financial crash of 2008 — which had seen his books “flying off the shelves” — it was important to remember that “however severe the crisis, capitalism does not collapse.

“It has to be overthrown.”

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