Statue unveiling

Burkina Faso unveils upgraded statue of Thomas Sankara

A little over a year after an initial bronze statue was unveiled of Thomas Sankara, government unveiled another – of the same work.

Criticisms had trailed the March 2019 statue which a number of people said did not do justice to the former Burkinabe leader – at least per his looks.

The criticized sculptor, Jean Luc Bambara, went back to the drawing board and came up with the new one which many say is an upgrade from the first work.

Speaking at the event, Foreign Affairs Minister Alpha Barry told French broadcaster RFI: “It’s hard to say whether one can 100% capture Thomas Sankara, but what we have [now] represents him and that’s what matters most.

“The government has given strong backing to this project to get a memorial worthy of its name,” he stressed.

Sculptor Jean Luc also had some defense for the initial work: “What didn’t work the first time around was the [short] deadline,” he said, “then there were the weather conditions.”

“Lost-wax bronze casting [uses] a material that melts in warm weather. At 45C it melted, to the point where some sections lost their shape at the casting stage.”

The initial unveiling of the monument which stands in the capital Ouagadougou was done on the sidelines of the 2019 African film festival, Fespaco. It was done by President Marc Roch-Kabore along with former Ghanaian president Jerry John Rawlings.