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A statue of Zinedine Zidane’s notorious 2006 World Cup final headbutt on 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.

Qatar Museums Chairperson Sheikha al-Mayassa al-Thani explained while announcing the return of Zidane’s statue:

Evolution happens in societies.

It takes time and people may criticize something to begin with, but then understand it and get used to it.

Zidane is a great friend of Qatar. And he’s a great role model for the Arab world. Art, like anything else, is a matter of taste. Our goal is to empower people.

The artwork, created by Algerian-born French artist Adel Abdessemed, was originally removed in 2013.

It had provoked criticism for its alleged promotion of idolatry, which is frowned upon in many Muslim nations; and also for its depiction of violence.

While the statue has now come back, its location has been changed.

Instead of being on public view, which Al-Thani conceded was “not right”, it will now be open for patrons of Doha’s new sports museum.

By Amara

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