By Mei Jingya, Sina English
A 10-ft-high statue of the late Chinese leader Mao Zedong was among five statues inaugurated on Tuesday in the Montpellier town of France. The other four erected this week in the town's "20th century square" were of Mahatma Gandhi, Golda Meir, Gamal Abdel Nasser and Nelson Mandela.
Montepellier left wing politician Georges Freche, who died last year, had commissioned the 10 statues of "great figures of the 20th century",
Until his death Georges Freche was president of the Languedoc-Roussillon region and chairman of Montpellier's development community, enjoying strong local support.
He was alive to relish the uproar when the first five statues went up in 2010 as they included an one-ton representation of Lenin, alongside the figures of Winston Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.
Before his death, Mr Freche defended his decision to honor Lenin and Mao, insisting that their political legacy outweighs the bloodshed on their path to power.
Guards had to protect the statues after the Green Party threatened to dismantle them.
This week, Mr Freche's Socialist successor in Montpellier, Pierre Moure, said: "These figures symbolize the major political ideologies of the 20th century. It's a tribute to history."