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Golding appreciates intention of Garvey bust sculptor

Published:Monday | February 12, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke/Gleaner Writer
The defaced bust of Marcus Garvey wrapped up in plastic last October.
The bust of the Rt Excellent Marcus Mosiah Garvey at the UWI, Mona.

During the brief interactive session which followed his address on Marcus Garvey's influence on the youth, poetry and contemporary popular music at the Institute of Jamaica on Sunday afternoon, Steven Golding was asked about the bust of Garvey at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona. After being unveiled in May 2017 to protests from persons who felt it did not look like Garvey, the bust was defaced in October. The bust was created by Raymond Watson.

Golding's response was guided by the reaction of Marcus Garvey's son, Dr Julius Garvey, to a particularly bad representation of the Jamaican national hero in San Fernando, Trinidad, Garvey saying that he appreciates the artist's intention.

"That is how I would respond to the bust of Marcus Garvey," Golding said, even as he said that the bust does not look exactly like Garvey. However, he has spoken with the artist and the intention was to present a representation of a young Marcus Garvey. "I don't think he deserved the response he got," Golding said.

He questioned the effort that has gone into protesting about the Garvey bust, saying, "We have a bust of Christopher Columbus in front of the Marcus Garvey Technical High School." However, there has not been the same effort put into decrying its existence.

"I did not agree with it being tarred and feathered... I hope it was not a pan-African who did it," Golding said. "I am into building things, not tearing them down."