According to AFP, an official on Wednesday confirmed that the government has ordered the removal of the rabbit in the ear of the nine-metre bronze statue which towers over the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
It’s believed that the sculptors who created the statue included the small rabbit in Madiba’s ear as both their signature and also as a tongue in cheek reference to the fact they had to work very hard and fast to finish it. The Afrikaans word for rabbit is ‘haas’, which also means haste.
According to Beeld, sculptors Andre Prinsloo and Ruhan Janse van Vuuren said the Department of Arts and Culture forbade them from engraving their signatures on the statue’s trousers, so they opted for the small rabbit insignia.
However, a spokesperson for the department has rubbished these claims and said the artists never made a request for signature engravings.
The department has since accepted an apology from Prinsloo and Janse van Vuuren, but removal of the small animal has nonetheless still been ordered.
“We want to restore the integrity of the sculpture as soon as possible,” ministry of arts and culture spokesperson Mogomotsi Mogodiri told AFP.
Meanwhile, the controversial bunny has joined Twitter as @RolihlahRabbit who says “I'm the tiny bunny that lives in the right ear of the biggest statue to Nelson Mandela, but government don't feel warm and fuzzy about me. They want to kill me!”
Several South Africans have also taken to protesting the removal of the rabbit by voicing their opinions via #savetherabbit, where many have said they think Madiba would actually have liked it.
(Credit Image:Facebook.Nelson Mandela)
Article by: Teamtalk