Egyp­tian king or a dwarf? Salah statue mocked on­line

Kuwait Times - - Front Page - SHARM EL SHEIKH: A woman takes a selfie by a statue of Liver­pool’s Egyp­tian for­ward Mo­hamed Salah dis­played at the World Youth Fo­rum in Sharm El Sheikh, on Novem­ber 5, 2018. —AFP

CAIRO: A statue of Liver­pool foot­baller Mo­hamed Salah has been met with de­ri­sion on­line since go­ing on dis­play in his na­tive Egypt, with many com­par­ing it to an in­fa­mous bronze bust of Cris­tiano Ron­aldo.

The statue was un­veiled with pomp and cer­e­mony at the World Youth Fo­rum in the Egyp­tian re­sort of Sharm el-Sheikh in the pres­ence of Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah alSisi. With large ears pok­ing out from un­der a huge Afro hair­style, Salah is cap­tured in the pose of his now iconic goal cel­e­bra­tion.

A broad smile is etched across his face and his over­sized head is tilted back­wards as the arms on his pint­sized body are stretched out wide. Salah is idolised in Egypt and Liver­pool, af­ter his goal-scor­ing ex­ploits last sea­son took his coun­try to the World Cup fi­nals and his English club to the fi­nal of the Cham­pi­ons League.

The statue of him been mocked widely on so­cial me­dia, with many liken­ing its ap­pear­ance to that of 1970s Bri­tish singer Leo Sayer or his Amer­i­can coun­ter­part Art Gar­funkel. “Peo­ple thought Cris­tiano Ron­aldo’s statue was bad. Wait till you see Mo Salah’s,” one Twit­ter user wrote, re­fer­ring to the bronze bust ridiculed for look­ing noth­ing like the Por­tuguese foot­ball su­per­star.

“Statue carved by Ste­vie Won­der by the looks of it!” tweeted an­other, in ref­er­ence to the blind US mu­si­cian. One so­cial me­dia user said Salah’s statue looked like a “bob­ble head”-the dolls placed on the dash­boards of cars with over­sized heads that nod in­ces­santly.

“Oh god !!!!!! They made statute of dwarf Salah,” tweeted an­other. “Yes, it’s a statue, but where is Mo­hamed Salah?” said a post on Face­book. The Egyp­tian artist who sculpted the statue, Mai Ab­dal­lah, has de­fended her work.

Ab­dal­lah said the statue had been made of plas­ter but be­came dis­fig­ured when the fo­rum’s or­gan­is­ers poured bronze over it, much to her sur­prise. She said the statue was orig­i­nally only meant to be used teach sculp­ture to stu­dents, in a post on Face­book where she also shared her other stat­ues of Egyp­tian celebri­ties. — AFP

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