LANCASTER, Calif. — The mayor of Lancaster says a Chinese company wants to build a 10-story-tall statue of the Buddha in the Southern California desert community.

Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Antelope Valley Press that the company — which he won’t name — is willing to spend $31 million to build the statue and a cultural center. He says the company contacted city officials about two months ago.

Parris says a Buddha would bring thousands of visitors a year to Lancaster, especially since it’s on a route to Las Vegas, which draws Asian tourists.

A 112-foot-tall Buddha completed in 1993 in Hong Kong has become one of that city’s biggest tourist attractions.

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