June 11, 2003


A new sculpture has taken the place of Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad’s Fardus Square. Says one of its creators:

"Building the sculpture was not a political dream, but an artistic one. The last thing artists think about is politics. Politicians get paid to talk, that's the opposite of what artists do."

Depends on the artists.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 11, 2003 02:09 PM

One of the disturbing statements from the group of artists was this -

"Freedom is not a gift from people with tanks," says sculptor Basim Hamad, a Najeen member and the driving force behind the new artwork.

Love to see you do it without those people with tanks Basim me old son.

Posted by: Todd at June 11, 2003 at 02:50 PM

I was thinking the exact same thing when I came back to comment. What the hell did Hamad's statement mean, anyway? From whom, then, is "freedom a gift"? If not for those "people with tanks" he wouldn't now have the precious freedom to even try to talk to a foreign reporter. What a complete ass. Apparently the whole Artists as Idiotarians mentality transcends all cultures.

Posted by: Tasty Beverage at June 11, 2003 at 03:16 PM

I couldn't agree more.

True, freedom is not a gift, unless you count a gift from God. However, the free exercise of freedom is most definitely a gift from men with tanks. Let's not forget who was throwing you into the plastic shredder and who was working to free your asses, okay Basim? If you think you'd be putting that statue up without the freedom granted you by the combined military might of the US and UK I've got a warehouse full of WMD to sell you.

Posted by: Lee at June 11, 2003 at 04:19 PM

The sculpture is as crappy as their sentiments

Posted by: Rob at June 11, 2003 at 05:12 PM

Wouldn't it look lovely in Melbourne's Federation Square?
Fits right in.

Posted by: Pete at June 11, 2003 at 05:36 PM

No, the artists are right. We can't give them freedom. We can take away an individual who was repressing them, but they will never have freedom until they themselves decide to throw off the yoke of ignorant fundamentalism, economic isolationism and cultural insularity, not to mention accepting responsibility for their problems instead of trying to pass it off onto colonialism, the Jews, their Yankee liberators or anyone else.

Personally, I'm not holding my breath.

Posted by: Alan Anderson at June 11, 2003 at 06:22 PM

You definately have a point Alan. I cede with pleasure.

Posted by: Todd at June 11, 2003 at 06:28 PM

No art worthy of the name has ever been created by a collective.

And thus this thing looks like a high school art project circa 1973.

Posted by: Andrew D. at June 11, 2003 at 06:33 PM

I disagree with the artists. Freedom is, always has been, and always will be, a gift from those people who fight to defend it. Without warriors who are willing to protect people who can't defend themselves - as opposed to warriors who are only in it for money or blood - all people would be enslaved by mercenaries and terrorists.

Posted by: Tatterdemalian at June 12, 2003 at 02:01 AM

Maybe he's just quoting Bush:

"Freedom is not a gift America gives the world; it is a gift God gives humanity."

Posted by: scott h. at June 12, 2003 at 02:56 AM

The pic is too small to evaluate the sculpture's merit or demerit , one is, I suppose, in suspended animation on this.

Posted by: d at June 12, 2003 at 11:35 AM