April 4, 2010

Senegal unveils colossal statue amid criticism

Filed under: Uncategorized — ktetaichinh @ 9:17 pm
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A spokeswoman for the president sought to downplay criticism Saturday, saying the statue — valued at roughly $20 million — was made possible by a land deal between Wade and North Korea, and that proceeds from the monument will benefit Senegalese children.

The statue is “an affirmation to be proud of Africa — to be proud to be black,” said spokeswoman Gia Abrassart.

“Only the North Koreans could build my statue,” says Mr. Wade, sitting in a red velvet chair in his palace. Moreover, they offer monuments at a good rate, he says: “I had no money.”

In exchange for the money to build the statue, North Korea received a piece of Senegalese land, Abrassart said.

After Mr. Wade was elected president in 2000, he was driving by the Mamelles near Dakar’s airport and had a vision of a statue of a family emerging from the volcanic hill.

Mr. Wade inquired about the French foundry that cast many of Rodin’s sculptures, the Fonderie de Coubertin. But his advisers said it would be too pricey and pointed him toward the only budget option: Mansudae.

Mansudae was set up in 1959 to produce art glorifying North Korea’s leaders. The company counts 1,000 artists among its 4,000 workers, and occupies a 144,000-square-yard campus in Pyongyang. The sculptors work in a warehouse and use scaffolding to reach the tops of statues, according to Pier Luigi Cecione, a curator and writer in Florence who represents Mansudae in Europe and the U.S.

Mansudae has decorated Pyongyang’s metro stations with mosaics. In 1972, Mansudae built a 66-foot-high statue of Kim Il-Sung, the nation’s founder and “Eternal President,” which now sits on a hill dominating Pyongyang. The statue established Mansudae’s reputation abroad, and China, Malaysia and African nations began commissioning projects, Mr. Cecione says. In 1994, the company painted an 269-foot-long canvas, “The Year of Bitter Tears,” to mourn the death of President Kim.

Mansudae remains tightly closed to outsiders, and a receptionist answering the phone in Pyongyang declined to answer any questions.


Làn sóng biểu tình càng trở nên dữ dội hơn sau khi Tổng thống Abdoulaye Wade phát biểu rằng ông nên được chia 35% lợi nhuận thu được từ tượng đài bởi vì đó là ý tưởng của ông, BBC cho biết.



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