German revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx has been immortalised with a bronze image in his German hometown of Trier on the occasion of his 200th birthday.
The 14-foot (4.4 metres) statue, crafted by Chinese artist Wu Weishan, was unveiled on Saturday afternoon in front of a crowd of spectators.
It was donated to the city by China, whose president Xi Jinping hailed Marx on Friday as “the greatest thinker of modern times”.
The Chinese leader’s Communist Party claim to have drawn wisdom from the German philosopher, who co-authored The Communist Manifesto with Friedrich Engels in 1848.
Marx and Engels are considered to be the founding fathers of communism, a political theory in which property and resources are owned by a classless society and not by individuals.
The unveiling has been greeted with controversy as dual opinion on Marx’s political influence has always divided Germany.
Protests and counter-protests were planned for the statue unveiling, prompting Trier spokesman Michael Schmitz to issue a warning via local media, saying on Friday “if you want to criticise Marx, you are welcome to do so, but not with violence or destructive rage”.
His comments coincided with a visit from EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who stopped by to open a series of exhibitions as part of Marx’s birthday celebrations.
He said in a speech: “Karl Marx was a philosopher, who thought into the future; had creative aspirations.
“Today he stands for things which he is not responsible for and which he didn’t cause, because many of the things he wrote down were redrafted into the opposite.”