JUST a short while ago, and with great fanfare, a hulking 9.5-metre (31-foot) statue of Confucius was installed outside the newly renovated National Museum of China on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, in front of the Forbidden City. The positioning could hardly have been more prominent. Confucius sat just across from the mausoleum of Mao Zedong, who railed in his day against the old sage and all the traditional values he supposedly stood for. At the January unveiling, a museum curator suggested that the statue showcased Confucius’s political and cultural significance. What, then, to make of its sudden removal last week under cover of dark?