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Monday, March 01, 2021

‘Badly made’ statue of poet Iqbal in Lahore draws ire of netizens

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar on Tuesday ordered immediate removal of a deformed sculpture of Allama Iqbal from a public park in Lahore after it drew flak on social media.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: February 4, 2021 10:51:22 am
allama iqbal, botched up statues, pakistan botched up statue, lahore park allama iqbal statue, allama iqbal statue removed, viral news, pakistan news, indian expressThe badly sculpted statue triggered a meme-fest online.

There’s no dearth of bad sculptures and statues of eminent personalities around the globe. And the latest in the list is from Pakistan. Images of a large statue of Pakistani national poet Allama Iqbal went viral, sadly for the wrong reasons.

Although the statue was unvieled in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park in August last year, it garnered attention only recently on Twitter. While some thought it was hilarious and shared memes, others slammed the authorities for their negligence.

Iqbal, an acclaimed Urdu and Persian poet, philosopher and lawyer is revered in the country and many claimed the badly made statue is an insult to the man. With #AllamaIqbal dominating trends on Twitter Pakistan, the sculpture left social media abuzz in the country.

However, after much backlash, city’s Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Chairman Yasir Gillani clarified that the statue had been built by the park’s gardeners out of their love for the poet Iqbal. “This is prepared by maalis at their own , they made it in sheer love for Iqbal and to pay homage from their heart. Authority didn’t approved or even paid a single penny for it,” he said in a tweet.

However, as the buzz on social media grew louder, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar also took notice, directing officials to remove it and has sought a report from DG PHA about the incident, 92 News reported.

Park’s spokesperson, Nadia Tufail, confirmed to The News that the sculpture is being removed and will be reinstalled with improvements. A picture showing a group of workers uprooting the boundary fence surrounding the now-viral sculpture started to circulate online.

However, hours later, two officials of PHA Lahore were suspended for “inefficiency and negligence of duty” on Tuesday after a furore on social media. According to an order issued by the authority, Shah Nawaz Wattoo, the park’s Deputy Director Horticulture, and Assistant Director Horticulture Ghulam Sibtain, who lead the construction initiative, have been suspended with “immediate effect”, Dawn reported.

Sibtain, the former project director told the news outlet that construction on the statue started during the first wave of the coronavirus. “We did not hire any architect to make the statue but two gardeners worked on it,” he revealed adding that some regular people to the park helped with some contribution. He also highlighted that the statue wasn’t criticised by the locals to the park.

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