‘Statue of Satan’: Court notice over 20-ft ‘man-animal’ sculpture at Lahore museum

02:06 PM | 18 Jan, 2019
‘Statue of Satan’: Court notice over 20-ft ‘man-animal’ sculpture at Lahore museum
LAHORE — Top court in Punjab has summoned provincial authorities after it was moved to order removal of a gigantic sculpture, dubbed as ‘Statue of Satan’, currently placed at Lahore museum.

Ambreen Qureshi, who filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, says the giant ‘horrific’ sculpture instills fear among children visiting the British era-museum.

“This ‘sculpture of devil’ has nothing to do with our culture whereas the purpose of a museum is to preserve our history and culture,” the petitioner told the LHC bench, comprising Justice Muhammad Farrukh Irfan.

Irbaatul Hassan, a student of PUCAD, stands next to his artwork at Lahore Museum.

Qureshi sought the court directives to remove the devil’s sculpture from outside the museum.

The judge who observed that “controlling Satan is the responsibility of us all” was thankful that at least someone came out against the devil.

The court later issued notices to the provincial chief secretary and the Museum director, asking to submit a reply by next week.

The artist who made the sculpture, on the other hand, defended his project that is based on the topic of ferocity. Irbaatul Hassan, a student of Punjab University College of Arts and Design (PUCAD), said his artwork is a strong comment on the degradation of humans who stop self-reflecting and become immoral.

“The difference between a man and an animal is based on a man’s ability to self-reflect,” he writes in his artist statement.

The first of its kind sculpture, that stands 20 feet high, was placed outside the museum last Friday. Information and Culture Department Additional Secretary Saman Rai was also present at the occasion.

The Lahore Museum, which has now covered the colossal statue with cloth, says the artwork is not part of the museum, but a part of an exhibition being held there.

Lahore Museum was originally established in 1865-66 on the site of the current Tollinton Market - a hall built for the 1864 Punjab Exhibition. The museum's collection was later shifted in 1894 to its present location on The Mall, in Lahore's British-era core.

Nearly 300,000 people visit the Lahore Museum every year.