(AP Photo) (Note: more detail! Yay!)
Oh! I missed this sad tale from Saturday. It's short, so here's AP's report:
BAGHDAD, Sat Jan 31 – The director of an Iraqi orphanage says a sculpture honoring an Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush has been removed.
Fatin al-Nassiri says Iraqi police told her the statue had to be removed from the orphanage in Tikrit because government property should not be used for something with a political bias.
She says the sofa-sized statue of a shoe was taken down on Saturday after being unveiled on Thursday.
Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes during a Dec. 14 news conference in Baghdad. Throwing shoes at someone is a sign of extreme contempt in Arab culture.
Political bias? Don't they know that the Middle Eastern Shoe Art Renaissance is for everybody? And that the targets of the Middle Eastern Shoe Art Renaissance can by anybody? Hrrmmph. In any event, it's now obvious why the artist claimed the other day that the sculpture wasn't political, a statement I found puzzling and hilarious at the time. Bonus points for AP's continued use of the arcane art historical term sofa-size.
But if the Middle Eastern Shoe Art Renaissance participants are savvy, they'll try to gin up a little support for the censored monument, attempt to transform it into a succès de scandale. This could be their Nude Descending a Staircase, their déjeuner sur l'herbe, if they play their cards right.
What these guys need is a publicist. Cindy McCain's over there now, right? Perfect fit!