A statue of football legend Zinedine Zidane’s 2006 World Cup final headbutt on Italian soccer player Marco Materazzi is set to be reinstalled in Qatar ahead of the 2022 finals in November.
The monument had initially been removed over concerns it could cause offence to locals.
But Qatar authorities have now reversed that decision, while relocating the depiction to a new home.
“Zidane is a great friend of Qatar. And he’s a great role model for the Arab world,” Qatar Museums Chairperson Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani said. “Art, like anything else, is a matter of taste. Our goal is to empower people,” she added.
“Evolution happens in societies,” Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani explained while announcing the return of Zidane’s statue.
She also told the reporters the original site on the capital’s seafront corniche was “not right” and that the sculpture would be remounted at a new sports museum in Doha, which is hosting soccer’s World Cup later this year.
The 5-metre bronze work called Coup de Tete was removed in 2013 days after its unveiling after some Muslim leaders criticised it for promoting idolatry and others said it encouraged violence.