Ice library built in Siberia


This video says about itself:

5 February 2017

‘The Ice Library of Wonders’, which consists of 420 “books” on a 200 ton ice sculpture on the coast of Lake Baikal, in Baikalsk, Russia, was unveiled on Sunday.

The walls of the structure are formed from ice blocks, with etchings of more than 1,000 short phrases forming a labyrinth. People from all over the world submitted their dreams online to be carved into the ice, in various languages including English, Chinese, Korean, and Russian.

The library on Baikal is expected to stand until April, and then it’s going to melt.

Snow dinosaur in the USA


This video from Minnesota in the USA says about itself:

MN Family Builds Giant Snow Dinosaur

27 January 2017

One should hope this snow dinosaur will fare better than snow camels in Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump’s yak, squirrel fur on Madame Tussauds statues


This video from England says about itself:

18 January 2017

Donald Trump‘s complex hairdo provides a challenge for Madame Tussauds sculptors in London. Rough cut (no reporter narration).

By Isa Soares, CNN:

Wax and mane: Donald Trump statue unveiled at Madame Tussauds

January 18, 2017

For five months, the team at Madame Tussauds has been quietly prodding, polishing and painting the face of the 45th President of the United States.

This is President-elect Donald Trump as you have never seen him before: up close and personal and made entirely of wax.

Created by Madame Tussauds, the waxwork is one of four being made in London. Three others have already been shipped to Washington DC, New York and Orlando to coincide with Trump’s inauguration on Friday. …

Styling the waxwork’s head of hair wasn’t the biggest concern, it was the color.

“His hair is a mixture of human hair and yak hair. We use yak hair with people with white hair because human hair is not readily available,” said hairstylist Kelly Cox. …

For the President-elect’s eyebrows, the team used squirrel hair.

This video is about red squirrels in Scotland.

This video is about Tibetan yaks.

I certainly hope not any yaks or squirrels were killed for providing yak or squirrel fur (and not any humans for the human hair). Too many elephants and other animals have already been killed for the Trump dynasty.

From AFP news agency:

19 January 2017 – 13H19

Trump waxwork joins world leaders at Paris museum

On the eve of his inauguration as US president, Donald Trump was already standing among world leaders at the Grevin wax museum in Paris on Thursday — though the sculptor admits the hair posed a challenge.

Sculpted in record time — just over two months — after the museum was wrong-footed by Trump’s shock victory over Hillary Clinton, the wax likeness stands next to one of German leader Angela Merkel and at arm’s length from Vladimir Putin of Russia.

The museum was so certain that Clinton would win the November election that it decided to forgo the trouble of sculpting statues for both candidates. …

A similar Trump waxwork was unveiled on Wednesday at Madame Tussauds museum in London, complete with his signature suntan — and yak hair.

Koreans commemorate crimes against ‘comfort women’


This Dutch language video says about itself (translated):

January 12 2017

Sometimes they were raped 20 times a day, 200 thousand Korean “comfort women” who were brought to Japan between 1910 and 1945 to sexually serve soldiers. This statue in Busan symbolizes the drama. But as [the governments of] South Korea and Japan want to bury the hatchet, the government threatens to dismantle the statue. Hans Aarsman about the protest which that decision causes.

Japanese government angry about Korean ‘comfort women’ statue


Flowers atop a 'comfort woman' statue in front of the Japanese embassy in Seoul, South Korea, July 22, 2015

From TIME magazine in the USA:

Japan Is Recalling Its South Korea Envoy Over a Statue Commemorating ‘Comfort Women

Kaori Kaneko and Tetsushi Kajimoto / Reuters

1:53 AM ET

Japan would also postpone bilateral “high-level” economic dialogue with South Korea

(TOKYO) — Japan said on Friday it was recalling its ambassador to South Korea over a statue commemorating Korean women forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War Two and that the statue violated an agreement to resolve the issue.

The two nations agreed in 2015 that the issue of “comfort women”, which has long plagued ties between the two Asian neighbors, would be “finally and irreversibly resolved” if all conditions of the accord — which included a Japanese apology and a fund to help the victims — were met.

The statue, which depicts a young, barefoot woman sitting in a chair, was erected near the Japanese consulate in the southern South Korean city of Busan at the end of last year.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden in a phone call that it was important for Japan and South Korea to carry out the agreement, and not constructive to go back on it.

Chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that the statue was “extremely regrettable” and that Japan was temporarily recalling its ambassador.

He also said Japan would also postpone bilateral “high-level” economic dialogue and that Japan was suspending talks on a new currency swap arrangement with South Korea.

“Without building relations of trust, it won’t stabilise,” Finance Minister Taro Aso reporters, referring to the currency swap arrangement.

The term “comfort women” is a euphemism for girls and women, from South Korea, China, the Philippines and elsewhere, forced to work in wartime Japanese military brothels. South Korean activists estimate that there may have been as many as 200,000 Korean victims.

South Korea’s Finance Ministry on Friday expressed regret that talks on the currency swap agreement had been suspended due to political reasons.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called on South Korea to remove a statue of a “comfort woman” which has reignited a diplomatic row over Tokyo’s wartime sex slavery: here.

Dinosaur sculpture lessons for children


Tyrannosaurus rex with gypsum head and paw prints

In Leiden in the Netherlands, there is the exhibition of their newly acquired Tyrannosaurus rex Trix; before Trix will go abroad and come back forever in 2018.

Also in Leiden; from sculptor Simone van Olst (translated):

T.rex in town! Make this Christmas your own T.rex in plaster (stone). Come to the sculpture workshop on 21 or 28 December in the pop-up store in Leiden and go home with a tough dinosaur head or paw print. After the workshop you will get a nice goodie bag and an extra sculpture set to take home.

The workshop is in the Pop-up store (old V & D building), Aalmarkt 21 in Leiden. The workshops will be on Wednesday 21 and 28 December between 13.00 and 17.00. Every hour you can join. The rounds last for between a half hour and one hour. The cost is 10.00 euros per child, including material, a nice goodie bag and an extra sculpture set to make another dinosaur at home.

The workshop is suitable for children from 4 years on. It is desirable for the youngest children to be accompanied by an adult.

Not a dinosaur fan? Then it is also possible to create a nice Christmas pendant in gypsum.

Belgian King Leopold II’s crimes in Congo, statue in Ostend


Statue of King Leopold II in Ostend, Belgium

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

More explanation at controversial statue of King Leopold II

Today, 07:58

Ostend [city in Belgium] has provided a controversial statue of King Leopold II with a plaque with more information about the monarch. The new text now also focuses on his bloody colonization of Congo.

Leopold at the end of the 19th century on his own initiative ordered to colonize an area in Africa, 75 times larger than Belgium. He ran the Congo Free State as a private colony with brute force: the local population was exploited, tortured and maimed.

In Ostend Leopold, however, was honoured with an equestrian statue in 1931, flanked by statues of Belgian fishermen who thanked him for his support of the city and Congolese who honoured him “for the liberation from slavery by the Arabs.”

Raids by Arab slave traders were only in the extreme east of Congo. Similar to today’s ‘humanitarian’ pretexts for inhuman imperialist wars, King Leopold II abused these slave raids in the extreme east of Congo, for a bloody war to conquer the whole country; making the people in all of Congo technically not ‘slaves’, but forced labourers.

A group of residents of Ostend has been conducting action against the statue. Thus, in 2004 they sawed off the hand of a Congolese in the group of statues, a reference to the brutal punishment that was often applied to the indigenous population [under King Leopold II]. Also they repeatedly removed an explanatory plaque.

African's hand cut off, as a protest against King Leopold II's atrocities in Congo

Controversy

“The colonial policy until today still causes big controversy” the new information board says, which two Congo experts have co-written. The severed hand of the statue is explicitly mentioned, though there is no further explanation of its meaning. However, it is noted that many of the investments at that time in Brussels and Ostend were paid by the profits from the colony.

The Councillor of Culture hopes that the activists will now leave the statue alone. “I especially hope that the plaque this time will stay. That always costs us time and money. We do have bigger problems in our city,” he told VRT TV.

Whether this will actually happen is the question: “I heard that they think the text is not sharp enough, they are only moderately enthusiastic”.

J.P. Coen

The affair is similar to the vicissitudes of the statue of J.P. Coen in Hoorn [town in the Netherlands]. While he was Governor General of the Dutch East Indies he increased his grip on the country with bloody campaigns against the local population.

After protests, the text on the pedestal of the statue was adapted in 2012. Now Coen’s crimes in the East are also mentioned.

This video says about itself:

[Belgium, documentary short film ] Sikitiko, The King’s Hand

26 July 2010

In 2004 a mysterious group abducts the hand of a statue, part of a monument for King Leopold II. This as an act of political activism. They would catalyse a surreal chain of events, in the best Belgian tradition. A little girl reconstructs the story…

Selected for Interfilm KUKI International filmfestival 2011, BCCN Barcelona 2011, FestivalAdiovisual Barranquilla 2011, FestivalAdiovisual Medellin 2011

‘Sikitiko’ is a short by Pieter De Vos, licensed under creative commons.