Saturday, June 5, 2010

Concrete Statue at Denver Airport

A seven ton 26 foot concrete statue of Anubis, Egyptian god of death and the afterlife, is being installed at Denver International Airport. The statue will be there for the duration of a King Tut show, June 9, 2010 to January 9, 2011. (The King Tut show closed at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto in May. The statue appears to be the same one used outside the AGO.) According to, the jackal-headed statue will weigh in at 9000 pounds, and is being assembled in sections.

The statue appears be controversial on a couple of levels. A statue of the god of death in an airport might make some superstitious passengers nervous,  and the American end-of-days movement is concerned about the growing number of "pagan statues" being erected.

I for one don't mind the idea of a god of death (pagan or otherwise) overlooking an airport. I confront my own mortality every time I fly, so why shouldn't everyone else be reminded of theirs? The end of days argument is that we are putting up idols against the wishes of a jealous god. "After all of God's warnings we just have got to tempt fate," they say. Surely we all recognize that this is a Egyptian god from a long-dead religion. Or do these people believe that art is even more powerful than I imagined.

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