LONDON: Memorial statues in Iran dedicated to the late Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani have inspired ridicule for their aesthetic features.
One tribute in the city of Jiroft to the former Quds Force chief, who was killed in January by a US airstrike in Baghdad, has been likened to British comic character Mr. Bean.
A statue in the city of Bandar Anzali depicts Soleimani with unnaturally long arms and an awkwardly clasped hand across his chest.
The Bandar Anzali figure was so widely mocked that the authorities who commissioned it became embarrassed. It was last seen covered in white sheeting.
A statue in Delgan — the centerpiece of a “resistance park” — is characterized by an unfeasibly long left arm.
Officials across Iran have been raising memorials in a competition to show their loyalty to Soleimani.
The exodus of creatives from the country, Iran’s clampdown on artistic expression, or artists’ refusal to assist in the creation of propaganda may explain the dire quality of the statues.
Despite the reaction other memorials have drawn, Tehran also has its eyes set on a Soleimani tribute.
The Tehran Beautification Organization has commissioned its own statue, calling on artists to submit entries.
In an apparent attempt to circumvent the country’s creative drought, sculptors from outside Iran have also been invited to submit entries.