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Statures to Remember Former AP Reporter Iris Chang

China will make two statues for Iris Chang, the late former female reporter of the Associated Press, for her exposure of "atrocities committed by Japanese aggressors" in China and the spirit to "dig up the historical truth."  

A group of eminent Chinese artists and scholars discussed the clay model of the work in Beijing on Tuesday.


"We have received the approval from Chang's family members to make the statues," said Yang Zhengquan, vice chairman of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, at the discussion session.


Chang, born in a Chinese immigrants' family in Princeton of New Jersey, used to be a reporter for the AP and the Chicago Tribune. She published her book The Rape of Nanking - The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II in 1997 after two years' research and interviews on the Chinese mainland, which shocked the world.


The book, written in English, enabled Europeans and Americans to know the details of the Nanjing Massacre for the first time. It has been published more than 10 times, with nearly 1 million copies having been printed.


Chang also frequently made speeches in various regions criticizing Japan government's refusal to repent its aggressive history and its efforts to cover up the outrageous crimes committed by past Japanese militarists.


She was also considered a key member in retrieving Diaries of John Rabe, which provides crucial records of the Nanjing Massacre.


Chang was found dead of suicide in San Francisco at age 36 on November 9 last year.


Wang Hongzhi, president of the Nanjing Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute and undertaker of the project, said he wishes to present the demure beauty of an oriental woman in the statues.


"The more important thing is to portray her sense of historical responsibility and intrepid fighting spirit," said Wang.


The statues, to be made of white marble or bronze, will have a height between 1.8 and 2.0 meters.


One of the statues will be placed in the Memorial Hall of the Victims in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Invaders in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province. The other one will be donated to family members of Chang in the United States. The delivery time is not set yet.


(Xinhua News Agency June 22, 2005)

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