Relongated in 2013, less than a month after its installation by the sea in the center of Doha, the giant statue of Zinédine Zidane giving a “headbutt” to Marco Materazzi in the final of the 2006 World Cup will be reinstalled in the new Sports Museum , an official announced on Monday. This bronze statue, more than five meters high and weighing several tons, is the work of French artist Adel Abdessemed. It had been purchased by the Qatar Museums Authority as part of the preparations for the Football World Cup organized from November 21 to December 18, 2022. This representation of the French footballer had found itself at the heart of a campaign denouncing a idolatry prohibited by Islam, before being withdrawn.
“It felt like she was in the wrong place and she is going to be relocated. We plan to do so at the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum” which opened at the end of March, Qatar Museums President Sheikha Al Mayassa AlThani said, without giving a specific date. “With Zinédine Zidane’s sculpture, we will talk about stress in athletes during major tournaments and the importance of talking about mental health issues,” said Cheikha Al Mayassa, during a press conference.
“Art, like anything else, is a matter of taste,” she said, adding that “societies evolve.” “People, she added, can start by criticizing something before understanding it and getting used to it. Fourteen giant bronze sculptures by British artist Damien Hirst, depicting the stages of a fetus’ growth from fertilization to birth, had to remain covered outside a hospital under construction in Qatar between 2013 and 2018. The cultural calendar of the emirate is planning, among other things, an exhibition dedicated to football at the Sports Museum from October. The renovated Museum of Islamic Arts is also due to reopen in October.