The saga of renowned artist Adam Madebe’s controversial statue of a nude man looking up into the sky which was pulled down from Bulawayo’s Tower Block gardens in the 1980s has sucked in Education, Sport and Culture minister Senator David Coltart.
Coltart has vowed to fight for its re-mounting.
He said he would ensure that the statue, Looking into the Future was brought back from the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo, to which it was banished.
The removal of the statue was spearheaded by the then Local Government, Rural and Urban Development minister, the late Enos Chikowore.
Speaking on the sidelines of the 23rd Annual Lions Club International Peace Poster Exhibition, where he was the guest of honour, the minister said the banning of the statue hindered artistic expression.
“It runs contrary to the free spirit of artistic expression in the country . . . As minister responsible for arts and culture I will advocate for it to come back,” said Coltart.
Coltart urged artists to continue using talent to promote cultural values and educate Zimbabweans about their past and promote a vision for a new and better Zimbabwe.
He expressed concern over the recent ban of the Owen Maseko Gukurahundi exhibition by the government and the artist’s subsequent arrest, when he delivered the 2010 Lozikeyi Lecture last Friday at the same venue.
“The statue is not promiscuous or suggestive in any way, it is simply an interpretation of the male human body,” he said.
“It is also of course a fine work of art and we can be justly proud that a Bulawayo citizen is responsible for it.”
He said art was a vehicle to bring about peace and reconciliation in a conflict riddled Zimbabwe.