BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Africa  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Saturday, 16 November, 2002, 12:04 GMT
Plans afoot for giant Mandela statue
Nelson Mandela
Mandela has already given his name to the Port Elizabeth area
South African businessmen plan to build a statue of Nelson Mandela bigger than the Statue of Liberty as part of a scheme to rejuvenate the rundown city of Port Elizabeth.

A waving figure of the country's first post-apartheid president will tower 65 metres (210 feet) above the city's harbour mouth, if the planners get the necessary funding.

Critics dismiss the idea as "blatant exploitation" of the Mandela legend but backers say the project would act as both a monument to freedom and peace and a major tourist attraction.

A spokeswoman for Mr Mandela said he would not be involved the scheme directly but appreciated the "honour of the initiative".

The statue has been designed by a local sculptor, Maureen Quin, and is due to be completed over 10 to 15 years if the funding is found.

  • The Freedom statue would stand on a 45-metre plinth at the harbour and show Mr Mandela flanked by a small girl.

  • An appeal would go around the world for guns made redundant as a result of peace processes and the weapons would be melted down and used in the frame.

  • It would be the only statue of its size which rotates and visitors would be able to ascend from inside to Mr Mandela's waist, or perhaps his eyes, for a view of the city.

  • An annual yacht race could be organised to connect the Mandela statue with Liberty in New York and the 30-metre statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro.

Job creation

Project leader Mandla Madwara told Reuters news agency that the statue would give Port Elizabeth a tourist draw equal to Cape Town's Table Mountain.

"There is a need for a tourism icon to help create sustainable jobs," he said.


There is a need for a tourism icon to help create sustainable jobs

Mandla Madwara
project leader
The statue, part of a project including a museum, an African music archive, a cruise liner terminal, a conference centre and an upmarket residential marina, would help create 9,000 jobs in tourism in the city, Mr Madwara's group argues.

Port Elizabeth, the centre of a new municipality called the Nelson Mandela Metropole, is suffering from severe poverty.

One newspaper columnist, Robert Kirby of the weekly Mail & Guardian, has accused the planners of "blatant exploitation and unadulterated crudity of formulation".

But the National Ports Authority says it "fully supports" the idea for the country's third largest harbour in terms of revenue.

See also:

28 Aug 01 | Africa
26 Sep 02 | Entertainment
11 Feb 01 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes