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Disputed inscription removed from MLK Memorial

Thursday - 8/1/2013, 12:39pm  ET

BRETT ZONGKER
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sculptor Lei Yixin says he has removed a disputed inscription from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall, and he is now working on a new finish for the side of the memorial statue.

Plans call for Lei to carve grooves over the former words to match existing striation marks in the King memorial. Lei said Thursday he is working to deepen all of the grooves so that they will match.

The inscription was a paraphrase from King's "Drum Major" speech. It read, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

Critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, argued that the quotation was taken out of context when it was shortened. She said it made King sound arrogant.

The change has cost between $700,000 and $800,000.


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