World

Hazardous white smog hides Beijing skyline despite industry cutbacks; statues masked in stunt

  • Tourists put on their masks after they posed for souvenir photos as they visit Tiananmen Square on a severely polluted day in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014.  Pollution across a large swath of northern China worsened on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

    Tourists put on their masks after they posed for souvenir photos as they visit Tiananmen Square on a severely polluted day in Beijing, China, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Pollution across a large swath of northern China worsened on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this photo taken Sunday Feb. 23, 2014, residents barbecue along the river bank during a hazy day in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Xinhua said that almost all provinces in central and east China have had serious air pollution since Friday, and that Beijing and five provinces in northern and eastern China had reported "severe smog." (AP Photo) CHINA OUT

    In this photo taken Sunday Feb. 23, 2014, residents barbecue along the river bank during a hazy day in southwest China's Chongqing municipality. Xinhua said that almost all provinces in central and east China have had serious air pollution since Friday, and that Beijing and five provinces in northern and eastern China had reported "severe smog." (AP Photo) CHINA OUT  (The Associated Press)

  • A chimney of a heating plant is obscured by heavy haze as commuters walk through a bridge linking a subway station and a bus station on a severely polluted day in Beijing Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Beijing remained cloaked in hazardous white pollution hiding much of its skyline Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

    A chimney of a heating plant is obscured by heavy haze as commuters walk through a bridge linking a subway station and a bus station on a severely polluted day in Beijing Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Beijing remained cloaked in hazardous white pollution hiding much of its skyline Tuesday. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)  (The Associated Press)

The smog is so bad even the statues wear masks. Or at least they do in photos of a campus stunt circulating online as parts of northern China suffered a sixth straight day of severe pollution.

A Peking University student placed the masks on statues of Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, Communist Party co-founder Li Dazhao and a sage practicing tai chi.

Hazardous white pollution hid much of Beijing's skyline Tuesday, despite announced closures or production cuts at 147 of the city's industrial plants.

The National Meteorological Center said readings of particulate matter known as PM2.5, a key measure of pollution, reached 444 micrograms per cubic meter in central Beijing. WHO considers 25 micrograms a safe level.