The Samora Machel Statue is an enormous bronze sculpture located in front of Maputo City Hall on the spot formerly occupied by a statue of Joaquim Augusto Mouzinho de Albuquerque, in the centre of Praça da Independência. It depicts Samora Machel (1933-1986), a military and revolutionary figure, who became the first President of Mozambique. He was a socialist, who led Mozambique to Independence in 1975, and died in office when the presidential aircraft crashed on a nighttime flight he had been advised not to take, near the South African border.
The statue was designed and constructed in Pyongyang, North Korea by the Mansudae Overseas Projects (an arm of the Mansudae Art Studio). It stands 30 feet tall and weighs 4.8 tons. It sits on a marble slab 8.9 feet high at the head of Samora Machel Avenue and is illuminated at night. The statue has been criticized for bearing little resemblance to Machel himself. It was unveiled on 19 October 2011, on the 25th anniversary of Machel’s death. Armando Guebuza, the President of Mozambique, led the construction of the statue and its inauguration ceremony.
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