“Every architectural work sparks controversies – look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris.”

The BBC reports on protests as the Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade inaugurated his blasphemous idolatrous potentially personally lucrative 49m (160ft) bronze ‘Monument of African Renaissance’, costing $27million (£18million) and built by North Korean workers. Followed by a familiar distraction tactic.

In his address, Mr Wade solemnly declared that Senegal was formally assuming sovereignty over military bases that since decolonisation in 1960 have continued to house French army and air force personnel. The announcement appeared designed to boost national pride in a country that sees itself as shaking off the last vestiges of colonialism. In fact, France and Senegal reached an amicable agreement last February under which most of the 1,200 French military personnel based in Senegal would leave this year.

And a reminder of the background of the “designer” of the monument

[Abdoulaye Wade] studied [on a scholarship] at the lycée Condorcet in France. College at Besançon, France -doctorate in law and economics. Met his wife Viviane Vert there. Worked as a barrister in Besançon before returning to Senegal where he opened his own law firm and began teaching courses at the University of Dakar.

Subsequent professorial activities include econometrics research at Boston University, lecturing in the faculties of law and economics at Paris II, and consulting for the Organization of African Unity and the African Development Bank. Member of the Stockholm-based International Academy of Comparative Law. Awarded the French Legion of Honor.

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  • joeCanuck

    You can fool some of the people…

  • Personally, I think this statue looks great. And the ideology behind it – pride in African culture and achievements – strikes me as perfectly sensible.

  • Pete Baker

    You would say that, Garibaldy ;o)

    By the way, his proposed 35% cut in revenue generated is an interesting addendum to that ideology.

    “pride in African culture and achievements”, indeed.

  • Bubbler

    “By the way, his proposed 35% cut in revenue generated is an interesting addendum to that ideology.”

    Where did you find that info Pete?

  • Framer

    The French troops will be back shortly, at Senegalese request.

  • Pete Baker

    Bubbler

    It’s mentioned in the first BBC report.

    And in my previous post on this.

    “The land is state property and the fees to build the statue have been paid by the state… but I am the designer, the one who conceived it,” said Mr Wade. “So we should see how we share the benefits. The state will go with 65% and l shall take 35% for myself.”

    Both linked in the original post…

  • Alias

    I wonder if this will give Peter Robinson ideas? He could buy a piece of land for a fiver, sell it to the State for 5 million, and then have the State build a 49m bronze statue of himself designed by himself on it, whereupon he would be entitled to 35% of the monies raised from TUV voters who would then queue up to urinate against it.

    Wade’s (an Ulster surname) attempts at bribery are as equally unsubtle as his attempts to profit from the State. He gave an IMF visiting official a bag containing 200k in cash as a departing ‘gift.’

  • old school

    I thought the Millenium Dome costing 1000million sterling was the most expensive “bad idea” in the history of mankind.
    I still can’t fathom how it cost so much, considering the material used and it’s life expectancy.
    Mandleson’s idea too. I though gays had a decorative touch.

  • Alias

    True, and the Millennium Dome bored my kids witless after 5 minutes.

  • The Millenium Dome concept began life under the Tories, during the 1992-7 government I think.

    Pete,

    You know my aesthetic views all too well 🙂

    As for the designer’s fee. No need for that. And the message for oppressed peoples will still outlast all this. I especially like this statue cause he told the religious nutters where to go. That alone makes it an important statement in today’s world – of secular, progressive politics and solidarity.

  • Rory Carr

    I’m with Garibaldy in his appreciation of this monument both in the grace of its construction and the high-minded inspiration behind it which I must admit is somewhat tarnished by President Wade’s sense of entitlement to personal enrichment from the enterprise.

    I have met quite a few Senegalese around Tottenham both men and women, all of them Muslim and what struck me about many of them was that they shared a strong but simple belief in their Muslim faith, praying frequently, if not religiously five times a day, holding to the Ramadan fast, eschewing pork entirely, but certainly not alcohol, nor tobbacco, nor cannabis and also quite refreshingly sexually liberated and frank and open on any issues arising therefrom and, although working long, tedious hours in miserably low-paid employment in bakeries engaged in the mass-production of pizzas owned by Stamford Hill Hassidic Jews, were quite well educated, often speaking excellent French and quick on the uptake with their English. I like them. And I like their statue.