Davina Henry, Staff Reporter
For many Jamaicans, the mere mention of the name Bob Marley evokes pride and passion in light of his many achievements.
It is no surprise that there was an outcry when it was discovered that the Robert Nesta 'Bob' Marley statue, erected outside of the National Stadium, was defaced earlier this week.
The life-sized bronze statue, which was sculpted by Alvin Marriott, has large splashes of red paint on the hands, feet, back, pants and guitar.
What was even more alarming was that officers attached to the police station, a few feet away from the statue, were unaware of the destruction.
When contacted, several artistes and friends of the iconic reggae legend told The Sunday Gleaner greater respect should be shown to our monuments.
"It's a clear show of lack of respect for an iconic figure that is treasured all around the world, and for this to happen in his own country shows a lack of respect for anything and everything. I can't imagine what motives anybody would have to do that. It's not like he's a political figure or anything like that. There is just no motive that anyone could have for such a blatant violation," dancehall artiste Assassin aka Agent Sasco stated.
Similarly, Allan 'Skill' Cole, Marley's close friend and confidant, was equally upset about the news.
"I'm really surprised at what took place. It's heart-rending. We definitely need to pay more attention to this iconic symbol and what he represents for our country."
Digicel Jamaica, which has the rights to use Bob Marley's image, said they were disheartened to hear about the defacing of the monument.
"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and it is regrettable that persons have damaged a monument of one of our beloved local legends," stated Tahnida Nunes, Digicel's senior sponsorship manager.
I-Octane, who often cites Bob Marley as one of his inspirations was appalled at the callous and disrespectful manner in which the monument was treated.
"This is really disturbing. Bob Marley is a great icon to not only Jamaica, but the rest of the world. He has contributed to the country in many ways. Bob is the biggest individual figure to come from Jamaica, he is even bigger than Jamaica itself. To know that the statue is in his home country and is treated like that is unacceptable. We need to treat the legacy of our icons with respect." I Octane said.
More needs to be done
According to Johann Dawes, who films his television show, Best of Hype, in the vicinity of the monument on a weekly basis, the authorities are not doing enough to protect the statue. Dawes argued that the statue is visited regularly by foreigners, however, little has been done to maintain the area.
"I don't think they are doing enough to protect the monument. That statue should have firm security and this should not be allowed to slide without a thorough investigation. I would be ashamed if it was a Jamaican who did that, he or she should be found and punished.
"We should make sure that our monuments are taken care of. Perhaps corporate companies can come on board and assist in that area." The statue was cleaned on Friday and returned to its earlier state.