Friday, February 19, 2010

Childish politics as usual bunch of twits!

An iconic public artwork planned for Durban at a reported cost of R1,5-million has been scuppered, allegedly because the trio of elephants are reminiscent of the opposition IFP's logo in the ANC-run city

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Politics and the arts are never comfortable bedfellows, and the project has now been put on hold, following an objection from an unidentified official.

Botha is a world-renowned sculptor based in Durban whose work has appeared in exhibitions around the world. The series of elephants, made out of natural or recycled man-made materials, are a symbol of the Human Elephant Foundation, an organisation he started in partnership with respected South African conservationist Dr Ian Player. The foundation aims to highlight the interaction between humans and the natural environment. The elephants have appeared in various permanent and temporary positions in Mexico, Belgium, Norway and throughout North America.

Work began in November 2009 and the three elephants were transported from Botha’s workshop north of Durban to their current location in early January, where they were to be finished on site. On February 9, Botha said he received a phone call from Siya Madlala and S'bu Mazibuko, two former students who were assisting him with the artwork, saying that they had been ordered to stop work immediately by a man who refused to identify himself. The man, driving a large black SUV, apparently told them that the elephants were a symbol of the IFP, and were therefore not welcome in a city run by the ANC.