The original sculptor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will start removing a disputed quote from the statue this week.
Lei Yixin, a sculptor from the People’s Republic of China, plans to start work when he arrives Tuesday at West Potomac Park, where the memorial is located.
Lei will remove a quote inscribed beneath King that currently reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”
King’s original line was, “If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter.”
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar ordered the quote corrected after complaints that the statue’s version of the quote changed the meaning of what King originally said and made him sound arrogant.