In March we told you about Stephen Okeke's unveiling of his TV Ramos Sculpture. He said it was his homage to the cultural icon and founder of Garifuna Settlement Day.
The sculpture was dazzling, but it lacked one thing: sponsorship: meaning Okeke had to get forty thousand dollars before it was placed in Dangriga.
We predicted at the time, that it would end badly - because that's what always happens on these artistic venture projects that Okeke embarks on.
And sure enough one month ago, he angrily put it up for sale to anyone, and then last week some supporters said they had a rescue plan.
But it all mounted to naught…yet, still, we never expected what we saw on Facebook this morning: Okeke destroyed the sculpture! Smashed it to bits!
Why would he do such a thing? Well, you'd have to ask him and we tried but for the very first time, he declined an interview.
Here's the message he posted on his Facebook page:
"I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THAT THIS SOURCE OF DISCOMFORT HAS FINALLY BEEN DISMANTLED. I HOPE PEACE RETURNS. It's great to know that nobody asked for it, no one should have thought it up, no one should have made it, no one should be made to pay for it, and no one should be made to keep it.
I am neither angry nor mad. But am just disgusted with the unending racial slurs, unending verbal, emotional, and continuous threat of physical violence for creative and innovative artistic delivery that gets more caustic by the day. Lets have peace brothers and sisters. The source of our query has finally been dissolved. Let's now bury our differences and move on..."
and via text message he told us quote, "Belizeans don't want what I offer. They want a white man to do it. I respect that now and exit peacefully."
Reaction on FACEBOOK to the bold anti-art move has been mixed, but we note that in terms of art history, Okeke is in good company by vandalizing his own work, putting his TV Ramos piece alongside those of Marcel Duchamps and others in the canon of Western Art.
When we mentioned this to him, he didn't seem impressed.