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
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 and built
Mansudae Overseas Projects , a company from
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
France . It is the tallest statue in Africa .
* 1 Construction
* 2 Unveiling
* 3 Criticism
* 3.1 Expense
* 3.2 Style
* 3.3 Revenue
* 3.4 Local artists
* 4 See also
* 5 References
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 .
On 3 April 2010, the
African Renaissance Monument was unveiled in
Dakar in front of 19 African heads of state, including President of
Malawi and the
Bingu wa Mutharika ,
Jean Ping of the
African Union Commission and the Presidents of
Cape Verde ,
Republic of Congo ,
Ivory Coast ,
Mali , Mauritania
Zimbabwe , as well as representatives from
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
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 ,
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 apologised to Senegal's
Christian minority for comparing the statue to
Jesus Christ .
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.
Ousmane Sow , a world-renowned Senegalese sculptor, also objected to
the use of North Korean builders, saying it was anything but a symbol
African Renaissance and nothing to do with art.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to AFRICAN RENAISSANCE MONUMENT
Mansudae Overseas Projects
* ^ A B C D E "
Senegal President Wade apologises for Christ
BBC News . 31 December 2009. Archived from the
original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 12 July 2014.
* ^ "
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 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 , 13
* ^ "
Senegal unveils statue amid protest".
Al Jazeera . 3 April
2010. Archived from the original on 6 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April
* ^ Walker, Peter (4 April 2010). "Senegalese president unveils
£17m African Resistance statue".
The Guardian . London. Archived from
the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2010.
* ^ "
Senegal unveils colossal statue amid criticism".
CNN . 3 April
2010. Archived from the original on 7 April 2010. Retrieved 7 April
* ^ 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
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 imams use
prayers to condemn giant statue". London:
BBC News . Retrieved 12 July
* ^ Sy, Tidiane (16 November 2009). "
Senegal colossus proves sore
BBC News . Retrieved 12 July 2014.
* ^ Soares, Claire (9 January 2010). "A monumental folly in
The Independent . London: INM . ISSN 0951-9467 . OCLC
185201487 . Retrieved 12 July 2014.
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