In 2010 work was finally completed on the gigantic statue of the legendary general of the Three Kingdoms period, Guan Yu – often reverently called Guan Gong (Lord Guan) and Guan Di (Emperor Guan). The colossal statue is situated in the general’s hometown of Chang Ping village near Yuncheng city, part of the Shanxi province, People’s Republic of China.
The statue was made with more than 500 tonnes of copper and 2,000 tonnes of steel. It is 61 meters tall, to mark Guan’s 61-year life. (Also, the foundation of the statue is 19 meters high, reflecting the fact that Guan spent 19 years in Yuncheng.)
Guan Yu (died 220) was a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei in the late Eastern Han dynasty. He played a significant role in the civil war that led to the collapse of the dynasty and the establishment of the state of Shu Han – founded by Liu Bei – in the Three Kingdoms period.
As one of the best known Chinese historical figures throughout East Asia, Guan’s true life stories have largely given way to fictionalised ones, most of which are found in the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms or passed down the generations, in which his deeds and moral qualities have been lionised. Guan is respected as an epitome of loyalty and righteousness.
Guan Yu was deified as early as the Sui dynasty and is still worshipped by many Chinese people today, especially in southern China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and among many overseas Chinese communities. He is a figure in Chinese folk religion, popular Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and small shrines to Guan are almost ubiquitous in traditional Chinese shops and restaurants.
Oh, and apparently he is even responsible for the Guan Dao weapon.
Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guan_Yu