TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The New Taipei City government on Wednesday (May 5) tore down two statues of a Taoist deity after many motorists complained they were too "scary."
The Jinshan God of Wealth Temple (新北市金山財神廟) in New Taipei City is frequented by many worshippers wishing to seek blessing from the God of Wealth (財神), which in the case of this temple is depicted as a toddler, rather than the standard bearded man. However, the temple recently drew controversy for building two statues of the deity on the edge of Provincial Highway No. 2.
According to New Taipei City Council Member Chang Zhen-Hao (張錦豪), motorists who drove through the highway in Wanli District at night reported being "scared" after seeing two large, eerie statues of children, reported Liberty Times. The floodlights below the statues created the classic uplighting effect under their faces frequently seen in horror movies.
The New Taipei City Public Works Department then launched an investigation and found that structures over six meters in the area require a license, and such approval had not been received. In addition, the statues were built on land that belongs to nearby Dapeng Elementary School, and an environmental maintenance contract the temple had with the school is set to expire in July.
On Wednesday, both statues were torn down at the direction of the city.
(Facebook, HsiangwenTravelBlog photo)
One statute being demolished. (New Taipei City government photo)
(New Taipei City Council Member Chang Zhen-Hao photo)