Today we want to talk to you about a sculptural work that represents the type of art that is often promoted by the most megalomaniac rulers, who confuse quality with quantity, and who seek propaganda rather than being a patron of art. That is the case of the gigantic sculpture that the president of Senegal had built on a high point in the country's capital: Dakar.
African Renaissance Monument
The work was inaugurated in 2010 and was initially designed by the local architect Pierre Goudiaby, but the influence of the country's president,, is undeniable Wade, in fact asked for a significant percentage of the benefits in the concept of copyright. And that is just one of the controversial points of the work.
The title of the work already tells us about his message. It is the African Renaissance Monument, and its goal is to become the image of a new moment in the history of Senegal and the entire continent, a 21st century that they hope will be the resurgence of those land. And it was even inaugurated on the anniversary of the independence of the country and the rest of France's colonies in Africa well into the last century.
The work made in bronze represents a couple of man and woman, with a child who directs his gaze towards the Atlantic Ocean, proposing a twinning with the many black people whoThey ended up in America. It is a proud pose of those characters and strong enough to face the future.
So far everything normal, but the enormous, gigantic difference is the scale of the work: 49 meters high. To which we must add that it stands on a hill that must be climbed to reach the sculpture. So the cost of making the figure and the urbanization of that mountain represented a millionaire cost, which is one of the great criticisms of the work.
But there's more. Without a doubt, the Senegalese president wanted to make an opulent work, so that it becomes a symbol. So much so that he himself has compared it to the Statue of Liberty in New York or the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He is convinced that this sculpture will revitalize tourism in Dakar and will be the image of the country's development.
Even if its population doesn't entirely agree. In addition to its scandalous cost, because they are almost naked figures, something that the Muslim majority in Senegal has not liked at all. While for the Christian population, the fact that the ruler related that image to Jesus Christ they did not like either.
In short, on the one hand Wade has managed to make the work appear on many websites, magazines and television in recent years, making Senegal known. But on the other hand, the criticism has not stopped, and there are many who have branded it a "Stalinist" work for its typical grandeur of everything Soviet, and also as the "monument of shame".