The African Renaissance Monument
In Senegal lives a Great Man. His name is Abdoulaye Wade and He is the Nation’s President. Somewhere in the early 00’s, Wade commissioned the construction of the African Renaissance Monument. It was unveiled in Dakar in front of 19 African heads of state on 3 April 2010, marking Senegal’s 50 years of independence. When I first saw this picture, I thought it was just a bunch of guys in front of a statue, but when I realized that the little dot in the middle was a person, I was struck by the scale of it.
The 49-meter bronze monument was built by a North-Korean firm and cost €20 million. Because it is significantly smaller than Hipcescu Tower, I am very sympathetic towards this picturesque initiative. Its Stalinist elegance points a firm vector towards the future of Africa. I don’t know if development funds were used to build it, but if so, this proves that such funds can actually be put to good use!
According to the Global Post, “Rumblings of discontent erupted […] when Wade announced that he, as “intellectual creator,” would be taking 35 percent of all tourist revenue the state monument earns.” Here we see that instead of being grateful, people complain. This is in the nature of the people. Personally, I believe that 50% – a perfectly normal share in the art world – would have been more appropriate. Thank you for your time.