(CNN) – The controversial written passage on the side of the National Mall’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial has been removed, the sculptor said Thursday.
Chinese artist Master Lei Yixin told reporters at a press event in front of the memorial that the inscription had been removed by deepening the grooves that give the side of the memorial texture.
“All is going well,” Lei said through his son, who served as an interpreter.
The King Memorial had originally included a paraphrase from the famed Civil Rights leader’s “Drum Major” speech that read: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”
In 2011, famed poet Maya Angelou, a friend of King, pointed out that the statue took the original quote out of context in a manner that she said made King look arrogant.
Two months before he was assassinated in 1968, King really said: “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.”
Work is still ongoing on the statue. The National Parks Service hopes to have the memorial ready for events commemorating the 50th anniversary of King’s “I Have a Dream Speech” which will kick off at the end of August.
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