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Nearly 21ft bronze statue of Shakira unveiled in her home town in Colombia

user avatar Author: Editors Desk Source: The Guardian
December 27, 2023 at 17:44
The huge statue captures Shakira making her trademark hip swivel. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
The huge statue captures Shakira making her trademark hip swivel. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

In social media posts, the singer thanked the sculptor Yino Márquez and his students for their ‘enormous artistic talent’
Shakira has been transformed into a 21.3ft (6.5 meters) bronze statue in her home town of Barranquilla, Colombia, where according to legend she began her trademark hip-shaking dance moves on the table in a Lebanese restaurant at the age of four.

The Hips Don’t Lie singer shared photos and video of the statue, which captures her making her trademark hip swivel, on her Instagram account. She captioned one post: “Estoy muy emocionada por este homenaje a la mujer Colombiana y a las Barranquilleras dentro y fuera de mi tierra!” (I am very excited for this tribute to the Colombian woman and the Barranquilleras inside and outside my land!)

In another post, she shared pictures of her parents, William Mebarak Chadid and Nidia del Carmen Ripoll Torrado, standing in front of the epic figure.

“This is too much for my little heart,” she wrote.

The statue is large but not necessarily the largest pop icon statue to ever be erected. That accolade would seem to go to Forever Marilyn, a 26-ft tribute to the screen goddess Marilyn Monroe that now sits outside a tourism agency in Palm Springs, California, when Monroe, then Norma Jean Baker, was purportedly first “discovered” by an agent.

That objectification received pushback from some local residents, including Louis Grachos, then director of the Palm Springs Art Museum, who complained to the Art Newspaper: “You come out of the museum and the first thing you’re going to see is a 26ft-tall Marilyn Monroe with her entire backside and underwear exposed.” Grachos added that it was “sexually charged and disrespectful”.

No such criticism has yet attached to Shakira’s statue. After it was unveiled, Shakira thanked the sculptor Yino Márquez and his students for the “enormous artistic talent” they had demonstrated creating the giant bronze.

Earlier this year, the singer made headlines when she released a song about her former partner, ex-footballer Gerard Piqué. She later released a diss track after he reportedly cheated on her. The song, El Jefe, broke YouTube records in Latin America.

Shakira was in the news again in November when she settled a tax fraud case brought against her in Spain by paying a €7.5m (£6.5m/$8.3m) fine to avoid a trial in Barcelona over charges after she failed to pay €14.5m (£12.7m/$16.1m) in Spanish income tax between 2012 and 2014.

She also accepted a further fine of €438,000 (nearly $487,000) to avoid a three-year prison sentence, the judge said during the trial’s first hearing.

“This decision to reach a deal responds to personal, emotional and sentimental reasons that have nothing to do with legal [reasons],” Shakira said in a statement, adding she was ready to defend her innocence but decided to prioritize her career and children. “I have reached the conclusion that winning is not a victory if the price is that they rob you of so many years of your life.”

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