Friday, March 31, 2017

Sculptor on ridiculed Ronaldo statue: 'It's a matter of taste'

The much-maligned statue unveiled at an airport renamed in football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo's honour has prompted an angry and defensive reaction from the sculptor.

The Real Madrid forward attended a ceremony on Wednesday afternoon (local time) on the Portuguese island of Madeira, in which the city's airport was renamed as Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport.

Part of the ceremony was the unveiling of a statue head with his face on it - but a slightly disfigured version of Ronaldo had been carved into the bronze instead, attracting a number of jokes from Twitter users.

However, sculptor Emanuel Santos has now made efforts to defend his statue of the world's highest-paid athlete in an interview with a Portuguese sport website.

"It is impossible to please the Greeks and Trojans. Neither did Jesus please everyone," he told Globo Sports.

"This is a matter of taste - it's not as simple as it seems.

"I used photos of Cristiano Ronaldo that I searched on the internet as a base. I put the photos next to me and started working on the bust."

Santos later claimed that three-time Champions League winner Ronaldo had seen images of the statue before the big reveal, and didn't have any issue with it.

"Cristiano saw the photos that his brother sent him. I was with the brother at Cristiano's museum in Madeira and from the messages he sent, I could tell that he liked what he saw," he explained.

"He only asked for some wrinkles to be changed that give him a certain expression in his face when he's about to laugh.

"He said it made him look older and asked for it to be thinned out a bit to make it smoother and more jovial. But they gave it the go-ahead before they liked what they saw."

Ronaldo has not publicly commented on the statue, and when taking to Twitter only mentioned that he was "happy and honoured" that airport management had chosen to adorn their building with his name.

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