The national association of local French football officials wrote an open letter to Zidane urging him to denounce the new Zidane “headbutt” statue, Agence France Press reports.
Artist Adel Abdessemed made the five-meter (more than 16 feet) bronze statue, which depicts the infamous moment when Zidane headbutted Italy’s Marco Materazzi in the 2006 FIFA World Cup final. It was unveiled last month and stands outside of the Paris’ Centre Pompidou modern art museum.
The Zidane headbutt statue immortalizes the last moment of his illustrious playing career. He was given a red card and missed the penalty shootout which decided the game in Italy’s favor. That’s what angered the French officials.
“By choosing this provocative image, the artist has deliberately opted to ignore all your talents and all the positive emotions that you were able to share with the people of our country,” the letter said.
“They called on him to use the full powers of his influence to have the statue removed immediately, adding that it would have been better to have highlighted his two headed goals in France’s 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final,” the report adds.
“Pompidou Centre chief Alain Seban expressed shock at the complaints, saying that they amounted to an attempt to censure artistic creativity.”
Zidane hasn’t publicly commented on the statue or the furor surrounding it. The national association of local French football officials haven’t flown an airplane over Paris with a banner telling the Pompidou Centre to “take it down” either.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@TouchlineDrama