Senegal Statue Angering Locals Over Cost and Nudity
The African Renaissance statue in Senegal is nearly complete, just in time for criticism on many fronts. The statue, built overlooking Senegal's capital city of Dakar, depicts a muscular man holding aloft a child and carrying a woman behind him. It has a Soviet aesthetic, which isn't too surprising, as it was built by North Korea. That the statue costs $27 million to build has angered many in Senegal, which is run by 83-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade. That it depicts a scantily-clad couple has angered the imams of Senegal, who have always had a contentious relationship with President Wade.
"Our problem is with the woman's bare legs," architect and Wade adviser Pierre Goudiaby Atepa told Reuters by telephone, referring to the thigh-length hemline of the female figure's tunic.
A year or so in the building, the president's $27 million project is very nearly complete. Wade says the statue symbolizes the triumph of African liberation from centuries of ignorance, intolerance and racism, and he hopes it will rival the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in Paris as a tourist destination.