April 12, 2008

Overshadowing Mt. Rushmore

Crazy Horse's revenge

The world's largest sculpture is slowly rising in the hills of South Dakota, reports Tony PerrottetIt is no accident that Crazy Horse is rising only 25km from white America's most famous patriotic sculpture, Mt Rushmore, depicting the faces of four US presidents, or that Crazy Horse is going to be way, way bigger. From the start, this image was planned to be a political counterpart to Rushmore and to overshadow it.

The scale of this western colossus is mind-boggling. On completion, it will be the world's largest sculpture, dwarfing the Great Pyramid of Giza and the Statue of Liberty. Rushmore's presidents will fit inside Crazy Horse's 26.6m-high head. The image will include a giant tablet bearing a poem about Native American history carved in 1m-high letters. The site already has a sprawling cultural centre at its base, attracting one million visitors a year. (Rushmore scores three million.) And there are plans for a university and medical training centre for Native Americans to be built as part of the complex.
Many Indians support this monument, but some don't:"Only in America could a man carve a mountain," Ziolkowski once declared, a sentiment that, perhaps unsurprisingly, has not won over all Native Americans. In recent years a group called the Defenders of the Black Hills has argued that the region, which is sacred to the Lakota, should be left alone.

Spokeswoman Charmaine Whiteface says the fact that this new sculpture involves an image of a revered Lakota leader does not make it less of a violation than Mt Rushmore. Work should simply stop on Crazy Horse, she says. "Let nature reclaim the mountain."
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Best Indian Monuments to Topple.

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