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A monumental mishandling of Mo Salah

7 November 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

Poor old Mo Salah just can’t get a break when it comes to the world of aesthetics. Back in May, the British Museum acquired a pair of the Liverpool striker’s football boots for its world-renowned Egyptian collection. The ridicule directed at the BM came thick and fast, but it was nothing compared to the opprobrium that has greeted the latest Salah-inspired artistic disaster.

A statue of the footballer that was recently unveiled in Sharm el-Sheikh has attracted levels of snark to rival the outcry at that Ronaldo bust. Created by artist Mia Abdel Allah, the effigy captures Salah performing the open-armed gesture he habitually makes after scoring a goal. Though the pose may be accurate, the wild-haired ‘likeness’ leaves a lot to be desired; indeed, social media users have been quick to cite some rather unlikely resemblances:

The artist herself has reportedly appealed for ‘politeness and respect’ towards the sculpture – but even she has apparently professed that she is ‘not happy’ with the finished product.

In other news…

Whether or not the selfie phenomenon is killing photography as we know it is a moot point, but one thing’s for sure: it’s certainly damaging art. Last week, smartphone wielding visitors at a museum in Yekaterinburg accidentally ended up damaging priceless works as they attempted to capture themselves standing next to them. A now-widely circulated security camera video shows how a woman standing behind a temporary exhibition wall leans back on it, causing it to collapse – in the process reportedly causing significant harm to works by Goya and Salvador Dalí.


Rakewell’s favourite pet detective-cum-artist, Jim Carrey, waded into the Texas senate race between Republican Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke via the medium of contemporary painting. In a new picture, Carrey depicts O’Rourke opening a drawn curtain and blasting his ‘vampiric’ rival into oblivion with sunlight. Cruz held the seat by a narrow margin – but not before Carrey had succeeded in drawing out the senator’s inner art critic:

Got a story for Rakewell? Get in touch at rakewell@apollomag.com or via @Rakewelltweets.