Mao Zedong
The statue of Chairman Mao Zedong under construction in Tongxu county in Kaifeng, central China's Henan provinceGetty Images

A giant statue of Mao Zedong, the founding father of the People's Republic of China, has been erected in the country's central province of Henan. The gold-painted statue shows Chairman Mao seated with his hands folded.

The statue has been placed in Tongxu county in Zhushigang overlooking village fields. However, its location has sparked criticism on Chinese social media.

Users said that the area where Zedong's statue had been placed was the centre of a great famine in the late 1950s. The famine that claimed over 40 million lives reportedly had resulted from Zedong's poor economic policies.

"Have you forgotten about the Great Famine, building that?" asked one user on Chinese equivalent of Twitter, Sina Weibo, according to AFP.

It took about nine months of labour to complete the construction of the statue of Mao, who ruled China for more than 30 years. The project is being funded by local entrepreneurs.

The statue reportedly costs CN¥3m (£300,000, $460,000). Supporting parts of the statue are still under construction, and it could be one of China's tallest statues.

A 30 metre sculpture depicting Mao with outstretched arms stands at Tianfu Square in Chengdu, Sichuan province. Another statue of a young leader, the youth Mao Zedong statue is located in Hunan province. It only features his head and is around 32 metre high.