Tuesday, January 3, 2012

World's most controversial monuments

African Renaissance Monument, Senegal

President Abdoulaye Wade didn’t win any popularity votes when he funnelled millions into the construction of a monument to the African Renaissance. A waste of money wasn’t the only reaction to this 160ft colossus, unveiled in April 2010. It depicts a stylized muscular man with a baby in his arms, emerging from a volcano and pulling along a half-naked woman — and has been criticized for both skimpy clothing and sexism

Valley of the Fallen Spain

Dictator Francisco Franco ordered the construction of this monument outside Madrid to honour those who died for his cause during the Spanish Civil War. He enlisted political prisoners to carve the massive basilica into a mountainside — infuriating many Spaniards. In May 2011, after years of demonstrations and debate, the government assembled a commission to evaluate its future. Its initial recommendation calls to remove Franco’s body from the site

Brown Dog Statue, London

A small dog statue in London’s Battersea Park looks harmless, but it is a 1985 replacement of a statue with a fraught backstory. The original terrier was erected in 1906 by a group opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments. It displayed a plaque condemning pro-vivisection students at the University College. Outraged and embarrassed, those students destroyed it. The new statue is plainer, sans fountain or plaque.

Beatles Monument, Mongolia

The statues of Buddha and Genghis Khan that loom over Mongolia have some unexpected company: a brick guitar-shaped memorial to the Beatles in downtown Ulaanbaatar. Mongolian sculptor Den Barsboldt moulded this tribute to the band for their music and to represent Western democratic freedoms. Mongolia had a peaceful, democratic revolution, but the older generation still doesn’t want to give this monument a chance

Che Guevara Statue, Bolivia

Infamous revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara fought for the rights of the poor and incited passions along the way. While some condemn his violent methods or philosophy, to farm workers in the town of La Higuera, he remains “Saint Ernesto”. There, on the spot where the leader of a guerilla Marxist movement was captured and executed, residents dedicated a bust in his honour in 1997.

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