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China: Around The Nation

China National Games’ ‘human avocado’ mascot pulled down after failing to impress

Green statue was meant to symbolise the joyful atmosphere of host city Tianjin, organisers say

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 5:27pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 30 July, 2017, 7:11pm

A statue created for the upcoming National Games of China has been taken down after its appearance made it a target for ridicule on social media.

The model of the game’s mascot Jinwa first appeared outside a stadium in Tianjin, the northern Chinese city where the 13th annual sporting event will be held in August and September, the state-run China News Service reported on Friday.

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“Has an avocado turned into a human?” a commentator from the northeastern province of Heilongjiang asked on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

“People will be scared if they walk past this at night,” said a person from Zhejiang province.

Images of Jinwa, which translates as Tianjin’s baby, appeared online last week. Covered in grass and flowers, the statue attracted mostly unsupportive comments. Such was the outcry that it was

subsequently dismantled and hauled off the site, the report said.

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Public opinion outweighed the more generous description of the mascot given on the games’ official website, which describes it as “humorous, lively and lovable”.

The flowers on Jinwa’s body are meant to indicate that China is becoming wealthy and strong, while the shoes reflect the joyful atmosphere of Tianjin, according to the website.