BEIJING, Dec. 8 (Xinhuanet) --Two statues, one of Athena and one of Nu Wa, were found at Northwest University in Xi'an, with the faces of two school officials, Beijing Morning Post reported Thursday.
Athena is the goddess of wisdom and courage in Greek mythology, and Nu Wa is a goddess in ancient Chinese mythology known for creating mankind and repairing the wall of heaven.
The statue of Athena has the face of Lady Guo and Nu Wa has the face of Ladi Li, to honor the two women's contributions to the university, according to the explanation at the base of the statues.
The photos of the statues were posted online by Internet user Sanqingwang on Dec 6, which sparked the controversy. Many Internet users called it "profane to goddesses".
Another school official, surnamed Cao, defended the statues as being art. "Has anyone seen Nu Wa or Athena personally?" he said.
But, he added, it may be improper to combine the leaders with ancient goddesses.