Mandela statue : Row over rabbit in Nelson’s ear

BBC

Posted on BBC /AFP
Posted on BBC /AFP

South Africa’s government has ordered sculptors to remove a bronze rabbit they hid in the ear of a Nelson Mandela statue, unveiled after the former president’s death last month.

It wanted to “restore dignity back to the statue”, a spokesman told the BBC.

The sculptors reportedly inserted the rabbit as a trademark signature and to denote the haste with which they had to complete the statue.

Rabbit in the Afrikaans language is “haas”, which also means haste.

“We don’t think it’s appropriate because Nelson Mandela never had a rabbit on his ear,” Mogomotsi Mogodiri, the spokesman for the Department of Arts and Culture, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa radio programme.

“We’d want people to see that statue as a symbol of hope, not about something like a rabbit.”

Mr Mandela, who died at the age of 95, was widely acclaimed for his role in fighting white minority rule and promoting reconciliation after being elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994. Read more…

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