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World's Largest Mao Badge Discovered

An over-100-kilogram aluminum badge with late China's leader Mao Zedong's head portrait and one of his poems embossed on the obverse was discovered in south China 's Guangdong Province and believed as the biggest one in the world.

The owner, a lady surnamed Zhou, bought the badge by chance in a local market days ago at Foshan city, Guangdong Province. The badge is 1.4 meters in diameter and 2.5 centimeters thick, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

The unusual thing has immediately attracted curiosity of Zhou's friends and neighbors and a foreign businessman wanted to pay her 200,000 yuan (US$24,000) for it.

"Of course I refused. It's my emblem of luck and not for sale," she said.

When China was in Mao's time, it was a fashion to wear badges with Mao's head portrait to show love and respect for the leader. They were usually small like other ordinary badges and gradually disappeared from people's clothes, but have recently turned out to be a precious souvenir in fans' collections.

Experts assume that the huge badge was once used in gatherings and conferences during the Cultural Revolution period (1966-1976).

Before this discovery, the largest Mao badge listed in the Guinness book of world records has a diameter of 1.2 meters, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

Mao was born on December 26, 1893 and today is his birth anniversary.

(Xinhua News Agency December 27, 2001)

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