The HEADBUTT that keeps on giving – artist claims it was Zidane himself who pressured Qatar to remove his controversial 5-meter bronze ode to defeat


Talk of Qatar’s removal of Adel Abdessemed’s Headbutt sculpture because of religious concerns seems to have been premature and possibly “off-base” all along. We jumped in and reported on the supposedly fundamentalist reasons given for removing the statue from its seaside spot in Doha, by the state of Qatar… but apparently its an altogether different reason – and perhaps different form of idolatry – that prompted the absolute monarchy to move the statue to the “safety” of an art museum.

The statue (of the infamous headbutt served by Zidane to Italian player Matarazzi during the 2006 World Cup Italy-France match) did generate some strong reactions when unveiled, but Adel Abdessemed, the artist, claims that Zidane himself put pressure on Qatar to move the work to a more out-of-the-way spot, … namely the city’s Arab Museum of Modern Art.

Previously on Art is Life:

“Sculpture Shock” Qatar benches Zidane’s Headbutt

The Newlyweds, and Zidane’s Headbutt ____________ Pietrasanta Sculpture, 2013

“Melt it Down!” Zidane “Head-butt” sculpture contested in the night

Sculptor’s P.O.V. ____________ “Zidane’s head-butt” vs. “Samson Slaying a Philistine”

“Zidane’s Headbutt” sculpture will play in Pietrasanta’s “Italy-France” Exhibition

Zidane’s headbutt – Adel Abdessemed’s ode to defeat looms large at the Centre Pompidou in Paris


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