The AFRICAN RENAISSANCE MONUMENT (French : Le Monument de la
Renaissance Africaine) is a 49 meter tall bronze statue located on top
of one of the twin hills known as
Collines des Mamelles , outside
* 1 Construction * 2 Unveiling
* 3 Criticism
* 3.1 Expense * 3.2 Style * 3.3 Revenue * 3.4 Local artists
* 4 Gallery of images * 5 See also * 6 References
The monument is made of 3-centimetre thick metal sheets and depicts a family group emerging from a mountaintop: a full-length statue of a young woman, a man, and held aloft on the man's raised left arm, a child resolutely pointing west towards the sea. Construction of the bronze statue group was carried out by the North Korean firm Mansudae Overseas Project Group of Companies .
The project was launched by then Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade who considered it part of Senegal's prestige projects, aimed at providing monuments to herald a new era of African Renaissance .
On 3 April 2010, the
African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in
President Wade said "It brings to life our common destiny. Africa has arrived in the 21st century standing tall and more ready than ever to take its destiny into its hands". President Bingu said "This monument does not belong to Senegal. It belongs to the African people wherever we are".
Thousands of people protested against "all the failures of President Wade's regime, the least of which is this horrible statue" on the city's streets beforehand, with riot police deployed to maintain control. Deputy leader of the opposition Ndeye Fatou Toure described the monument as an "economic monster and a financial scandal in the context of the current crisis".
The colossal statue has been criticized for its cost at US$ 27 million (£ 16.6m). The payment was made in kind, with 30 to 40 hectares of land that will be sponsored by a Senegalese businessman.
Senegalese opposition leaders also questioned the style of the
project, while art critics argued that the body shapes are
cartoon-like, with only vaguely African facial features. It was also
suggested that the monument is a stark representation of the macho
sexism of African authoritarian rulers. The statue's design was
derided internationally because of false claims of its Senegalese
origin, actually having been designed by a Romanian architect and
built by a North Korean sculpting company famous for various projects
and large statues throughout Africa since the 1970s. It was a poorly
received piece by art critics around the world after its much-delayed
unveiling in 2010 and was compared by some to the infamous (and
once-abandoned) Christopher Columbus statue project that was unveiled
in Arecibo ,
The project has also attracted controversy due to Wade's claim to the intellectual property rights of the statue, and insisting that he is entitled to 35 percent of the profits raised. Opposition figures have sharply criticised Wade's plan to claim intellectual property rights, insisting that the president cannot claim copyright over ideas conceived as a function of his public office.
GALLERY OF IMAGES
Monument as seen from afar *
Close up on a sunny day
Wikimedia Commons has media related to AFRICAN RENAISSANCE MONUMENT .
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