Work to Begin Next Week on MLK Memorial Quote

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The "Stone of Hope" sculpture at the National Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is seen on February 1, 2013. An abbreviated quotation inscribed on the side of the statue will soon be removed.  (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The “Stone of Hope” sculpture at the National Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is seen on February 1, 2013. An abbreviated quotation inscribed on the side of the statue will soon be removed. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON — The National Park Service says it will begin work next week to remove a disputed inscription from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Contractors will start working on Monday to build scaffolding and get equipment in place. Then, on July 29, the sculptor of the memorial, Lei Yixin, will arrive. He will carve grooves over the lettering to match existing marks in the sculpture.

The inscription is a paraphrase from King’s “Drum Major” speech. It reads, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.”

Critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, have argued that the quotation was taken out of context and makes King sound arrogant.

The park service says the quotation will be removed in time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28.

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(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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