Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2010

African Renaissance Monument; Dakar, Senegal

On April 3, 2010, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade unveiled the African Renaissance Statue in front of 19 African heads of state, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, rapper Akon, and representatives from North Korea. The complaints began immediately. Senegalese complained that the 160-foot tall statue made from nearly 1-inch thick copper was too expensive ($28 million), ugly (the word Stalinist was mentioned several times), and corrupt (North Korean laborers worked on the statue and President Wade claimed intellectual property rights, demanding 35 percent of the statue's revenue). The structure overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and is reportedly the first thing visible when flying into Dakar.