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Grange slams 'fake' statue

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 12:00 AMRomario Scott
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports Olivia Grange (right); president of the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association, Dr Warren Blake (second right); sculptor Basil Watson (second left); and Sports Development Foundation board member, Ian Forbes, discussing the recently unveiled maquette of Usain Bolt by Basil Watson at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston yesterday.

Minister of Culture, Gender Affairs, Entertainment and Sport Olivia Grange, has moved to dispel mounting concerns and allegations surrounding the statue of track and field superstar Usain Bolt by unveiling a maquette of his statue.

Grange earlier this week advised the public not to be alarmed by fake news images purporting to be that of the statue of Bolt which had surfaced online.

The image, some say was not a true reflection of the highly decorated sprinter and blasted the sports minister and sculpture Basil Watson for what was described as a poor work.


Confident of quality


But armed with photos and the maquette of the statue at a press conference yesterday at the Spanish Court hotel in New Kingston, Grange said she was confident of a quality finish to the statue which will arrive in Kingston in August.

At the conference, the sports minister came out in strong defence of Watson - also present at the yesterday's unveiling.

"There is no way Basil Watson - who has sculptured Herb McKenley - would have sculptured the statue that has been circulating on social media causing public concern. That is just fake news," Grange said in defence of Watson.

Watson said he was confident in the quality of the work that he has done.

He disclosed that he is in the 'semi-final' lap of completing the statue, pointing out that as it's a work in progress and minor adjustments are being made to perfect the statue.

The statute of Bolt is only one in an array of four statues commissioned by the Government of Jamaica.

The minister said the statue of Olympian Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce would arrive in Jamaica in November of this year, but the date of the unveiling is to be determined.

The sports minister said the four carried a price tag of US$400,000 or approximately J$52 million.