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Indian Cristiano Ronaldo statue condemned as ‘sacrilegious’

Indian citizens have been critical of a statue erected of Cristiano Ronaldo in Goa, some 60 years after its liberation from Portugal

A statue of Cristiano Ronaldo erected in Goa has led to a spate of complaints amongst locals who claim that it is ‘insulting’ to those who suffered during Portugal’s prior colonization of the Indian state.

The statue of Ronaldo, whose status as a global icon of football extends into Goa where both he and the sport are tremendously popular, was intended to “inspire” youngsters in the region, per officials.

Instead, the gesture has been cited by some locals as having re-opened old wounds of the Portuguese colonial empire – during celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of its liberation. 

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Incredibly, the statue, whose unveiling was delayed by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, is said to have cost 12 lakhs to build – a sum which translates to more than $16,000 – and weighs over 900lbs.

Critics of the golden statue say that it should have instead celebrated Indian athletes, particularly given that several members of country’s national team are Goan.

However, Portugal’s national team – and particularly Ronaldo – remain central to Goan life, at least in a sporting context, with many people in the state have Portuguese relatives due to the area’s past. 

But many say that the timing of the statue was ill-advised, given that it arrived during celebrations marking Goa’s severing of ties with Portugal – something which came 14 years after India as a whole was liberated from British rule.

The unveiling of the Ronaldo tribute was marked by locals waving black flags in protest, according to reports by the Times of India.

Very disappointed to hear of the statue of Ronaldo being erected. Learn to take pride in our own icons like Samir Naik and Bruno Coutinho,” a Goan resident said, via the IANS news agency.

To erect a statue of a Portuguese footballer this year is sacrilegious. We condemn this,” another said. “There are many freedom fighters in Goa who have been insulted.”

However, Michael Lobo, who is a local politician in Goa, dismissed the criticism in a tweet he posted which features a picture of him standing alongside the statue.

For the love of football and at the request of our youth we put up Cristiano Ronaldo’s statue in the park to inspire our youngsters to take football to greater heights,” he wrote. “It was an honor to inaugurate the beautification of open space, landscaping, garden with foundation & walkway.”

Ronaldo, 36, has not yet commented publicly on the issue. 

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This isn’t the first time that a statue bearing the Portuguese star’s image has been poorly received.

Read more

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo stands beside a bust presented during a ceremony to rename Madeira's airport in Funchal as 'Cristiano Ronaldo', on Madeira island, on March 29, 2017. ©
Francisco Leong
Sculptor behind bizarre Ronaldo bust revealed

In 2017, a bust of Ronaldo which was unveiled at the Madeira Airport in Portugal (later renamed the Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport) was widely mocked for its lack of resemblance to the footballer, and was eventually replaced.

Another statue of the Manchester United star, this one in Funchal, Portugal, has reportedly been required to be maintained on several occasions after a host of Ronaldo’s more tactile fans caused the groin-area of the statue to be excessively buffed while posing for photographs with it.

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https://ift.tt/3Hk3B51 29, 2021 at 07:30PM
from RT – Daily news

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