Those mini Liberty Bells might not be so embarrassing after all.
City Councilman David Oh, who has previously questioned the purpose of Mayor Nutter's international travels and criticized the little Liberty Bells given to foreign dignitaries, is embarking Wednesday on a week-long trade mission to Korea.
There, the Republican at-large Councilman will present mayors, heads of states and other dignitaries with...
"These are big Liberty Bells," Oh said when I pointed out that it was just a few months ago he teased Nutter for giving them out as gifts.
"Please don't give out those [miniature] Liberty Bells," Oh said after an April city council hearing that discussed the mayor's travels. "That's just embarrassing."
Oh's mini liberty bells are apparently not as mini as the bells Nutter gave out in Rome, including to the Pope. Oh's bells weigh at least 4 pounds, are 7-inches tall and wide, and have a sturdy wooden base, he said. The six Liberty Bells Oh purchased cost $100 each, which he paid for with his own money.
The trip itself is also funded mostly through Oh's personal and campaign money, he said. The hotel where he is staying is being Incheon, the host city of the 17th Asian Games, the largest sporting event in Asia, which Oh will be attending.
Oh will be traveling by himself and has meetings scheduled with various businesses in an effort to bring investment to Philadelphia.
This will be the second time he travels to South Korea on city business. The last time he went, in 2012, he tried to get Korea Airlines and Asiana Air to start direct flights to Philadelphia. Oh said that he hasn't given up on that effort.
During this trip, Oh will again meet with leaders at Hyundai Rotem, which has a manufacturing plant in Philadelphia. He will also meet with the leaders of SM Entertainment, a film and music distributor, and LG CNS, and energy firm, he said.
"I'm trying to bring more money from overseas," that will invest in start-up companies here or build partnerships with existing Philadelphia companies, Oh said.
"The world is trending... toward global partnerships," he said.
Oh said the trip came about through an invitation from Incheon to attend the 17th Asian Games, the largest sporting event in Asia, as a City Councilman and in representation of Philadelphia.