Permanent detention

"Mozambique is not Portugal. Mozambique is not Portugal. Mozambique is not Portugal."

António de Oliveira Salazar, the former Portuguese dictator, is not someone who I expected to come across in downtown Maputo. Following independence, most surviving monuments from the colonial period were stashed away at the old fort. But my friend John Marrone found Salazar in the courtyard of Mozambique’s national library, a few blocks away. I’m pretty sure the statue used to stand at the entrance of what was once called the Liceu Salazar, Mozambique’s first high school, built in the 1940s, and that’s probably why the sculptor opted to clothe the one-time law professor in his academic garb. Someone had the wit to put him in the dunce’s corner.

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6 Responses to Permanent detention

  1. jpt says:

    Bolas, “roubaste-me” um postal. [E a rua oliveira salazar, ali ao lado do prédio isolado?]

  2. Rosa Reboreda says:

    Eu também achava que em Portugal, após o 25 de Abril, tinham sido eliminados todos os símbolos do regime de Salazar. No entanto há uns dias vi num jornal uma foto com o nome de uma rua em Águeda: “António de Oliveira Salazar.1934”. Acompanhava um artigo de opinião sobre o assunto.

  3. Marcia Schenck says:

    That is so funny. I think I was having lunch at the steps right next to him when I went to the section of the archive in the adjacent house.

  4. John Marrone says:

    I first thought it was Lourenco Marques’s Cardinal de Gouveia due to the robes on the statue. It is however Salazae. Salazar had a doctorate in Economics from Coimbra University and he is wearing his academic garb.. Funny story about de Gouveia. When he was made a cardinal in 1946, LIFE and LOOK and EBONY magazines sent journalists to Rome to photograph “the world’s first Negro cardinal”(this would not happen until 1961). Anyway they were shocked to see a wizened old Portuguese prelate. He was Africa’s first cardinal in modern times and why he was so honored is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it was the pope’s way of honoring the Portuguese Concordat in Mozambique in 1940 and the Missionary Accord of 1941 which placed African education in Mozambique under the control of the Catholic Church.

  5. ABM says:

    The original statue was made by portuguese sculptor Francisco Franco in the 1930’s and the earliest I seen it was in the 1937 Portugal exibit at the Paris International Fair. The Portuguese pavillion was a rather sumptuous António Ferro extravaganza to display the then relatively new regime in a modern and epic fashion (I have a picture of it in the main lobby of the Paris pavillion my little blog The Delagoa Bay World, which I inserted a few days ago). The artwork depicts dictator António de Oliveira Salazar in his University of Coimbra Doctoral robes (they look exactly the same to this day). When Liceu Salazar, a monumental structure (fairly similar to Liceu Pêro de Anaia in Beira) was built in the 1940’s behind the old and rather dingy Liceu 5 de Outubro (which faced Avenida 24 de Julho and was demolished in the late 1960’s) a copy of the statue in stone was placed in front of the main courtyard. But in the early 1960’s, reflecting the then times in LM, someone blew it up one night. The event was basically suppressed from the press and soon thereafter a replacement in metal (i.e., harder to blow up) was rushed in from Lisbon and placed in the pedestal. It is that statue which was removed just before Independence and placed where this photograph was taken.

    Keep it up.

  6. LS says:

    Hi David! Just after meeting you during lunch today, I checked the statue and indeed is the one that was in Liceu Salazar replacing the previous one blown up in the mid sixties.
    Well I have to agree I was wrong… Wish a lot of success in your research.

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