Back Stories » Vietnam » After Online Mockery, Sa Pa Park With Ugly Statue of Liberty Replica Gets Shut Down

The ill-proportioned replica statue led authorities to shutter the unlicensed An Sa Pa park that was built to provide tourists with photo-ops. 

Vương Trinh Quốc, chairman of the town people's committee, said last week that the park must be closed as "it has not been certified as a tourist destination" and some of the attractions, including the 30-meter-tall replica of the iconic American statue, "do not meet regulatory and aesthetic requirements." He added that even if it is built on private land, which it is, it must "adhere to the town's image as a whole."

Photos of the statue began to circulate online during the Tet holiday earlier in the year, and netizens were quick to mock it as failing to look like the actual Statue of Liberty. "The statue looks like it had a failed plastic surgery," writes one VnExpress reader. 

An Sa Pa's owner, Nguyễn Ngọc Đông, told Zing that the photos that brought such mocking were taken before the statue was completed in March, and he still is not satisfied with the workmanship despite having paid a lot of money for it. He added that it will require more money to fix it, but he cannot raise the funds if he is forced to remain closed. 

Seemingly unable to keep a consistent story, Đông has also said: “My tourist site is located in Sa Pa, which is the home of most of the H'Mong people. The modification of the statue from the Statue of Liberty to an image of a H'Mong man suits the local culture,” and that it is white, as opposed to green, in homage to the statues made for snow festivals. 

Spread across 1.7 hectares, An Sa Pa has been operating without a license since it opened in 2020. In addition to the "mutant" Statue of Liberty, An Sa Pa also contains an inaccurate rendition of America's Mt. Rushmore, the Leaning tower of Pisa, the Eiffel Tower, a Japanese flower street, a guitar boat, and many other installations aimed at providing Instagram backdrops.

[Image via Vietnam Times]

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