Crazy Horse monument, USA

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Crazy Horse monument, South Dakota
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How cool is this:

This is a project that has been going on for decades. In memory of the Native American Crazy Horse, an enormous statue of him is being carved out of a mountain! It is not yet finished.
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Information about Crazy Horse monument

The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument in progress in the Black Hills of South Dakota that when complete will be the world's largest sculpture. It is named after the Lakota warrior Crazy Horse.

The monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain on land considered sacred by some Native Americans, between Custer and Hill City, roughly 8 miles away from Mount Rushmore. The sculpture's final dimensions will be 641 feet (195 m) wide and 563 feet (172 m) high. By comparison, the heads of Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet (18 m) high; the head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet (27 m) high.

It was begun in 1948 by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who had worked on Mt. Rushmore under Gutzon Borglum, who claimed that several Lakota chiefs requested a counterpoint demonstrating a Native American hero. The sculpture portrays the warrior Crazy Horse, who led the Oglala Sioux (now Lakota) at the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.

Crazy Horse resisted being photographed, and was deliberately buried where nobody would find his grave. Ziolkowski, however, envisioned the monument as a metaphoric tribute to the spirit of Crazy Horse and Native Americans. "My lands are where my dead lie buried," supposedly said by Crazy Horse, is the intended interpretation of the monument's expansive gesture. While Ziolkowski's motives may have been sincere, many traditional Lakota and Native Americans oppose this memorial. In a 2001 interview, the activist and actor Russell Means stated their objections to the memorial this way: "Imagine going to the holy land in Israel, whether you're a Christian or a Jew or a Muslim, and start carving up the mountain of Zion. It's an insult to our entire being." In a 1972 autobiography, Lame Deer, a Lakota Medicine Man had this to say: "The whole idea of making a beautiful wild mountain into a statue of him is a pollution of the landscape. It is against the spirit of Crazy Horse." To this day, the memorial remains controversial within the Native American community.

The memorial is to be the icon of a huge educational and cultural center that will include the University and Medical Training Center for the North American Indian and the Indian Museum of North America. The current visitor complex will anchor the center. The entire complex is owned by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, and Ziolkowski's wife and several children remain closely involved with the work, which has no fixed completion date. The face of Crazy Horse was completed and dedicated in 1998, with a view to aiding fundraising. The monument is being built with no public money and is primarily supported by visitor fees (more than one million people visit annually, bringing in millions of dollars). Much of the earth-moving equipment used is donated by corporations.

The US Federal Government offered $10 million to help fund the project but were turned down. This was supposedly due to fears that the Government would claim a stake in the project and its profits.

The Foundation sponsors Native-American cultural events and educational programs. Annually in June, the Memorial hosts a Volksmarch, which is the only time that the public is permitted onto the mountain. Attendance has grown to as many as 15,000.

The Memorial will begin its first national fund drive in October 2006.

This information was provided by Wikipedia under the GNU license. Read more about this placemark on Wikipedia.

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