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Rocky Mount Drops Plans For MLK Statue

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — The Rocky Mount City Council has dropped plans to have a statue honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

After residents complained that an initial sculpture by two Chicago-based artists did not look like the slain civil rights leader, the City Council decided to spend thousands more dollars and have another statue made, but those plans died Monday night when Council members decided to spend the money on other local programs, such as helping the needy.

"We decided that we just needed to concentrate on the human condition," said City Councilman Lamont Wiggins.

The artist who undertook the newest model, Steven Whyte, agreed to go to Rocky Mount from California to make changes to the statue, but scheduling conflicts kept him from doing so. The statue was expected to be unveiled Jan. 16, 2006 -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

King visited Rocky Mount in 1962 and first spoke the words that would later become famous, "I have a dream."

The city would still like some sort of memorial to King, but right now there are no plans for another statue. Whyte had agreed to buy the first statue, which is now in a warehouse, but with the project cancelled, that status of that agreement is now up in the air.


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