It is one thing to honour an imminent personality with their statue at a public place and another if the statue turns out absolutely unlike the personality. Something similar unfolded in Lahore’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal park when the gardeners tried to pay their tribute to renowned poet and lawyer, Muhammad Iqbal.
The statue, though made with love and respect, ended up looking completely opposite from the poet’s features and Pakistani Twitter was not happy about it.
A tweet by a user named Laila shared pictures of the statue and wrote that there is nothing wrong about the sculpture except the part that it does not look like Iqbal.
Iqabl's sculpture in Gulshan-e-iqbal Lahore, there is nothing wrong about the sculpture except the part that it doesn't really look like Iqbal pic.twitter.com/zuNyrvXrmB— Laila (@Laila_Taariq) February 1, 2021
Many users however, jumped to defend the gardeners. One user commented that the statue was not made by professional sculptors but rather unskilled labourers working in the park who made it to express their reverence for the poet.
Those were not professional who made it, simple unskilled labours working in park made it to shows their tribute for Iqbal.— jabar shahzad (@ShahzadJabar) February 2, 2021
Meanwhile another user was not so forgiving and commented that despite having several talented artists in Pakistan someone commissioned this “monstrosity".
Another Pakistani man wrote that the statue should be replaced and a professional should be given the job of creating a sculpture of the great poet Allama Iqbal who worked in the creation of Pakistan. He further wrote that the poet deserves a decent sculpture for someone respected Internationally. He also demanded removal of the current sculpture to save the “embarrassment".
Should be replaced and need some Expert Sculpture to be made erected, Allma Iqbal Great Poet Philosopher worked in Creation Of Pakistan at least need a decent Sculpture for RESPECTED Internationally, or at least removed as it is Embarrassment— Syed Mustafa Shah (@syedmshah01) February 2, 2021
One user took a dig at the Pakistani government that is increasingly coming under China’s influence and debt as he commented that the statue looks like a made in China product.
However, in a recent development Pakistan’s The News reports that the statue has been removed after much criticism and will be reinstalled with improvements.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Lahore, Yasir Gillani from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party tweeted on Tuesday that the statue was prepared by the gardeners and it was made with pure love for Iqbal. Gillani further said that the authorities did not approve the statue or even paid any money for the cost incurred during its construction. He assured that the authorities will address the issue but also urged people to look at it from a gardeners’ perspective and see their love and respect for the national leader and poet.
Dear, this is prepared by maalis at their own , they made it in shere love for Iqbal and to pay homage from their heart. Authority didn't approved or even paid a single penny for it. WE WILL ADDRESS IT but can anyone see from maalis eye's, their love and their عقیدت, pic.twitter.com/qAdf0Nw4E9— Yasir Gillani PTI (@yasir_gillani) February 2, 2021
Commenting on Gilani’s tweet, one user said that if this is the case then the statue should be kept.