Mother of the Martyr – In honor of the valor and bravery of fallen heroes, an Egyptian sculpture was ordered to be made by the government. Unfortunately the turn out of that piece of art has erupted varied awkward opinions and interpretations.
The sculpted work shows an image of a slender woman with arms outstretched being softly held by a military man on a helmet from behind.
Traditionally, the image of the slender peasant woman represents Egypt as a nation.
The 8.5m Egyptian sculpture was supposed to be officially unveiled at the public square in Sohag.
Unfortunately the residents of the location have complained about the misconceptions that have arisen in interpreting the piece of art.
Sohag is a seriously conservative town, as such they have found the gestures depicted in the sculpted image as inappropriate.
While some critics interpreted the work as plain sexual harrasment; others gave it a more political view saying it depicted the Egyptian’s military seducing nation.
The diverse reactions towards the Egyptian sculpture which cost about 250,000 Egyptian pound ($28,400) reached the national press as well as the governor of Sohag.
The governor on the sensitivity of these interpretations and its conservative location has ordered that the commissioning of the sculpted work be investigated by the local council of the town of el-Belina.
According to him the provincial government should have been consulted before the sculpture was commissioned.
“Sometimes, an artist’s vision clashes with the culture of society.”
‘If our objective is to treat citizens with respect, then we must not do anything to offend their feelings. We all respect our army and country.”- Ayman Abdel-Monaim, Sohag’s Governor.
Complying with the orders of the governor, the sculptor, Wagih Yani, 60 had begun to modify the work. The soldier in the sculpted work has been removed.
Yani says that the soldier’s image will be replaced with an olive branch in the hands of the woman.
Hopefully this will give a better appeal to the people. Yani wants to form a crescent of white doves over the woman’s head.
In defense of his art, Yani also described the initial design as a representation of the “spirit of the martyr” (the soldier) protecting Egypt (the woman).
He said: “I remain convinced of the sculpture’s original idea and the modifications will not steer far from that. But I personally feel that it’s important to me that everyone is happy with the sculpture.”