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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 Dakar
Dakar
, Senegal
Senegal
. Built overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in the Ouakam suburb, the statue was designed by the Senegalese architect Pierre Goudiaby after an idea presented by president Abdoulaye Wade
Abdoulaye Wade
and built by Mansudae Overseas Projects , a company from North Korea
North Korea
. Site preparation on top of the 100-meter high hill began in 2006, and construction of the bronze statue began 3 April 2008. Originally scheduled for completion in December 2009, delays stretched into early 2010, and the formal dedication occurred on 4 April 2010, Senegal's "National Day", commemorating the 50th anniversary of the country\'s independence from France
France
. It is the tallest statue in Africa .

CONTENTS

* 1 Construction * 2 Unveiling

* 3 Criticism

* 3.1 Expense * 3.2 Style * 3.3 Revenue * 3.4 Local artists

* 4 See also * 5 References

CONSTRUCTION

The monument while being constructed

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 .

UNVEILING

On 3 April 2010, the African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in Dakar
Dakar
in front of 19 African heads of state, including President of Malawi and the African Union Bingu wa Mutharika , Jean Ping
Jean Ping
of the African Union Commission and the Presidents of Benin
Benin
, Cape Verde
Cape Verde
, Republic of Congo , Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast
, Gambia
Gambia
, Liberia
Liberia
, Mali
Mali
, Mauritania and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
, as well as representatives from North Korea
North Korea
, and Jesse Jackson and musician Akon , both from the United States , all of whom were given a tour.

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".

CRITICISM

EXPENSE

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.

STYLE

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 , Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
in 2016. Local imams argued that a statue depicting a human figure is idolatrous and objected to the perceived immodesty of the semi-nude male and female figures.

In December 2009, President Abdoulaye Wade
Abdoulaye Wade
apologised to Senegal's Christian minority for comparing the statue to Jesus Christ .

REVENUE

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.

LOCAL ARTISTS

Ousmane Sow , a world-renowned Senegalese sculptor, also objected to the use of North Korean builders, saying it was anything but a symbol of African Renaissance and nothing to do with art.

SEE ALSO

Wikimedia Commons has media related to AFRICAN RENAISSANCE MONUMENT .

* African Renaissance * Mansudae Overseas Projects

REFERENCES

* ^ A B C D E " Senegal
Senegal
President Wade apologises for Christ comments". London: BBC News
BBC News
. 31 December 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ " Senegal
Senegal
plans \'African Renaissance\' monument". polity.org.za. 4 April 2008. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ A B C " Senegal
Senegal
inaugurates controversial $27m monument". BBC News. 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. * ^ Sénégal : report de l'inauguration du monument de la Résistance Africaine, dépêche AFP mise en ligne par Le Monde
Le Monde
, 13 November 2009 * ^ " Senegal
Senegal
unveils statue amid protest". Al Jazeera . 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. * ^ Walker, Peter (4 April 2010). "Senegalese president unveils £17m African Resistance statue". The Guardian
The Guardian
. London. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. * ^ " Senegal
Senegal
unveils colossal statue amid criticism". CNN
CNN
. 3 April 2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010. * ^ Confidences de Serigne Mamadou Bousso Lèye, ministre sénégalais de la Culture et de la Francophonie », Jeune Afrique, no 2551, du 29 novembre au 5 décembre 2009, p. 41. * ^ Look, Anne (21 January 2010). "Senegal\'s colossal statue stirs big controversy". GlobalPost . Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ O’Toole, Sean (May 2012). "Made in Pyongyang". Frieze Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ Knutsen, Elise (8 November 2012). "Gender Studies in Dakar: The African Renaissance Monument". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ A B Leighton, Caspar (11 December 2009). " Senegal
Senegal
imams use prayers to condemn giant statue". London: BBC News
BBC News
. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ Sy, Tidiane (16 November 2009). " Senegal
Senegal
colossus proves sore point". London: BBC News
BBC News
. Retrieved 12 July 2014. * ^ Soares, Claire (9 January 2010). "A monumental folly in Senegal". The Independent . London: INM . ISSN 0951-9467 . OCLC 185201487 . Retrieved 12 July 2014.

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