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Head Butt

The Centre Pompidou opens an exhibit of works by Adel Abdessemed this coming Wednesday: Adel Abdessemed Je suis innocent (through January 7). As part of the show, he has installed a bronze sculpture (Coup de tête) in front of the museum depicting Zinedine Zidane's infamous head butt to the chest of Marco Materazzi during the final match of the World Cup in 2006, after which Italy went on to defeat France. Monumental in scope, at over five meters high, the sculpture may seem to immortalize what most people see as the final catastrophic failure of one of the world's great soccer players -- called by some commentators, without any sense of hyperbole, a Greek tragedy. The sense of anguish in the voice of the play caller for TF1, recorded here -- "Oh no, Zinedine, not now, not here, Zinedine, not after everything you have done" -- is heartbreaking, as they watch Zidane receive a red card and walk off the field of the final match of his career, in disgrace. I am not sure that I like the sculpture all that much, without seeing it in person, but it has provoked a lot of remembering and with its outdoor placement will be seen by a vast number of people.

(courtesy of Le Monde)

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