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#418036 - 10/07/11 09:00 AM The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! Bhojwani Roundabout
Marty Offline

The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh!

Driving along marine parade is one of the city's few aesthetic pleasures. The few miles may have cost tens of millions to fill and pave, but it is a walking or driving delight, flanked by ample sidewalks, largely pothole free and punctuated by well-appointed roundabouts, circled by flower beds.

But not anymore! That's because the city council which has graced multiple roundabouts with phallic adornments now has a plan for the roundabouts at Eve and Craig streets and Marine parade.

So it's out with the flower beds - and in with, what else? A replica of a Mayan temple! Is it a monument to the kingdom of kitsch? We probed the mayor about it:..

Mayor Zenaida Moya
"We have a Maya monument that will be placed at the roundabout by the Marine Parade; it's really to depict our history, our Mayan heritage so persons will be able to see a lovely depiction of a Mayan temple at that particular area. You don't have to go to Altun Ha and Xunantunich, Belize City deservers a depiction of our Mayan heritage."

Jules Vasquez
"And, the one on the Eve Street?"

Mayor Zenaida Moya
"The one on Eve Street, there are just up lifting the particular area, it's only an up lift."

Jules Vasquez
"Will these new structures have the words Hans & Nandini Bhojwani on them?"

Mayor Zenaida Moya
"Well, he may want, I know the one on Marine Parade, he may want to put up a little sign and he is the one who at the end of the day, he is giving it to the City of Belize for free."

Jules Vasquez
"How is it determine that, that is aesthetically superior, who determine that, that is aesthetically superior preferable to a flower pot, perhaps I am partial to flowers to a flower garden looking situation."

Mayor Zenaida Moya
"We won't get into flowers Jules, but what I will tell you is that flowers are beautiful and flowers will continued to be placed - it's right along the median and as you will see that all the flowers that were in that particular area have been placed right along the median and so you will get to see the Mayan temple, but right along you will get to see the flowers."

Work is expected to finish within the next few weeks. We wait in trepidation.

Channel 7

#418041 - 10/07/11 09:17 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Quote from Moya "You don't have to go to Altun Ha and Xunantunich, Belize City deservers a depiction of our Mayan heritage."

A new benchmark for stupid remarks.
Belize based travel specialist

#418050 - 10/07/11 09:54 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
"Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt."

PS - Jules is very funny...!

#418487 - 10/12/11 09:01 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Okeke Blasts "Mayan" Roundabout Sculpture

Last week we spoke to the mayor about the two new figures being installed on roundabouts at the Marine Parade and Eve street roundabouts. Previously, these roundabouts had walled flower beds and the marine parade one had a pair of cannons.

But that one will now have a replica of a Mayan temple - which has incensed Stephen Okeke - himself a former sculptor.

Today he called the press to the area to tell us exactly why he says the new figures have to be removed:..

Stephen Okeke
"And what we have here is said to be a mini Mayan temple and it's absurd that a wonderful structure that was here already, which is reflective and sensitive of the culture of Belize, with the canons and the flowers a beautiful setup, was dismantled for whatever they are building here. Interestingly we don't even know what is going to come here, there is no artistic impression of what is going to be here, these was no planning it's just haphazard as the other roundabouts have been and whenever they arrive at something, they arrive at something and we have to take it."

"If they are so concern about representing the Mayan culture, the Mayan temple, we already have the Central Bank which is the biggest handmade, recently handmade Mayan structure. We have people who were here as the original people of Belize City, the Creole people, it's not being racial or prejudicial, I am mostly a new Belizean, but you have the Creole people and there are other very significant Belizean who have done excellent in Belize and in Belize City especially. If you want to represent something it should reflect that sentiment."

"We can't afford to be keep isolating the original people of Belize City because Belize City does not belong to everybody. We should respect that and anything that is done in this area should reflect that. You can't just take 2 priceless piece of real-estate and jumble it up, something is not right somewhere and so this thing that is being built here even the arrangement itself, is such a contradiction. What are the meaning of the Mayan temples got to do with the canons and the battle of Saint Georges Caye? History doesn't seem to agree with that. Take back the blocks and put up whatever was there, in fact if what was there was so recklessly and fast removed, what will it take to remove what is here right now? Just 2 hours maximum, take it back. The city residents don't want it. It doesn't reflect our cultural sensitivities, and of course you should give an artist impression. Let us know, it is a modern world, if you don't have you CAD program you can do it by hand, give us an impression let's see a level of planning and articulation, give us an impression of what you are going to do and let us see contributions and impute from the city residents. We have very beautiful artist in Belize City and we can do better and we deserve better."

"When somebody comes around here, we call it public visual dialog, once they look at it they should be able to tell you, they should be able to tell you know what, and it's saying that the original people of Belize City were Mayans. Is that what we want to say? It says that the Mayans also fought in the battle of St. George's Caye because of the canons. It just talks about you that are what they call public visual dialog, as you look at the structure, it's talking to you, and you're talking to it, without any words being said. That's what you are looking at out there, does it reflect us?"

Jules Vasquez
"How do you answer the criticism that you want to run for mayor independently and this you are just using this, it's just opportunism on your part to us this as a platform for you campaign of good governance or whatever you are projecting?"

Stephen Okeke
"First of all I want you ask you to discourage anybody who makes such statements, because it is for fear or being label political or being colored partisan that important Belizeans, intelligent Belizeans who could do very well are hiding away because they are afraid of being ostracized by the government or whoever."

Jules Vasquez
"However, when there were making the sculpture at the Western Highway, Central American Boulevard, which I know you had artistic aesthetic objections to, you didn't have a press conference, because at the time you won't running for Mayor."

Stephen Okeke
"Well, there are a lot of thing I have been dealing with in Belize City, for example...."

Jules Vasquez
"But answer the specific question Stephen, I am not asking about a lot of things I am asking about an isolate event."

Stephen Okeke
"I am being very clear that I have tried to consult the Mayor on this. Regarding the one on the Central American Boulevard, is that right? It was set up it wasn't built it was setup before we knew about it, this is still in process and we are saying the process can be aborted today."

A late evening, three-page press release from the Mayor's office offers a staunch defence of the Hans And Nandini Bhojwani Foundation which has sponsored the design and construction of these and other roundabouts in the city.

It says the monuments are designed to commemorate Belize's 30tyh. Anniversary of Independence. The write-up says that one on Eve street is inspired by The Gambia in Western Africa and will signify Education, environment, Energy and Employment. That, the designer tells will be finished by tomorrow.

The other one, the big one on Marine Parade is supposed to depict, quote, "growth of our nation and will be fully surrounded with aesthetically pleasing flower plants," end quote.

The write-up says it is inspired by Mayan architecture but we'll note that it doesn't resemble any temple we've ever seen n Belize; in fact it looks most like Tikal, which is in Guatemala! Not quite sure how that fits into the 30 years of independence picture, but the designer says it will be finished by next week.

The release says that despite detractors like Okeke, the Hans and Nadini Bhojwani foundation is resolved to continue with the project for the residents of Belize City.

Channel 7

#418551 - 10/12/11 04:59 PM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! [Re: Marty]
Katie Valk Offline
Why news outlets give Okeke any space is beyond me. Has to be a slow news day. Okeke has written articles for Amandala that are beyond the pale and foment hatred. This Nigerian immigrant has little chance of becoming mayor.
Belize based travel specialist

#425723 - 12/20/11 07:26 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Bhojwani City?

After weeks of delays and grumblings that it had become a "Moya Ruin", The Mayan - style structure at the roundabout in Belize City is nearing completion.

Final touches were being applied today and the opening is set for tomorrow morning.

But the news is that along with getting their named emblazoned on the structure, Hans and Nandini Bhojwani will also become the namesakes of one of the most prized streets in the city named after them.

As we understand it, by resolution of the city council, a portion of the Marine Parade will now be named the Bhojwani Promenade. It is that area extending form the roundabout on Eve Street - past the Mayan Structure, left down to the Fish Market.

This, we presume, is in exchange for the couple's patronage of the City Hall's roundabout and other civil works projects. Judging from the number of persons who called us on it today after the signs went up, we'd say the street naming is sure to generate some controversy - but we'll have a better gauge on that when the official opening is held tomorrow.

But you can weigh in tonight - by participating in our online poll at 7newsbelize.com - as to whether you'd like it called the Bhojwani Promenade - or whether you'd want it named after an historic Belizean, or just to remain as is.

And before we close tonight, we have a clarification on our online poll about the Mayan structure at the Marine Parade area. As we reported, the plan is to name the street the Bhojwani Promenade. Well, city councilor Laura Esquivel has texted us to say that it's not the street which will be named the Bhojwani promenade, it's the sidewalk - similar to the Sandlighter's Promenade up the road. So, you can still vote in our online poll tonight - but just know that it will be for what you feel should be the name of the sidewalk - not the Marine Parade, the name of which will remain unchanged.

Channel 7

#425902 - 12/22/11 08:08 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! Bhojwani Roundab [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Survey Says...

And before we close, we'll announce the final results of our online poll on the naming of the Bhojwani Promenade. The question was what - if anything - should the promenade be named after?

The options were The Bhojwani's who sponsored the roundabout, a historic Belizean such as George Price of Phillip Goldson or whether it should be left un-named.

Of the 423 people who voted online - 76 or 18% say it should be named for the Bhojwani's. 253 or 60% say that it should be for a historic Belizean, while 94 or 22% think it should be left un-named.

Channel 7

#433634 - 03/21/12 09:57 AM Re: The Kingdom Of Kitsch Cometh! Bhojwani Roundab [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Bhojwani Roundabout: Overgrown And Shabby

We couldn't help but notice that the controversial Bhojwani roundabout is on its way from looking like some sort of Mayan temple to a veritable Mayan ruin! That's because since it was opened on December 20th., it seems no one has cut the grass and today when we taped it - the roundabout was very overgrown and shabby looking.

Before it got Bhojwani-ed, Courts and area residents looked after the roundabout, but looking now like a creature only its own creator could love - the roundabout appears to have been abandoned.

We note also that the dubious responsibility for roundabouts has been taken out of the City Council assignment of portfolios.

Channel 7


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