Headbutt (sculpture)

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Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi (retouch).jpg
Headbutt in Doha, October 2013
Artist Adel Abdessemed
Year 2012
Type Bronze
Dimensions 500 cm (200 in)

Headbutt (French: Coup de tête) is a sculpture by the French artist Adel Abdessemed. It is 5 m (16.4 ft) tall and made from bronze. It was unveiled on 26 September 2012 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.[1]


The sculpture depicts an incident that took place in the 110th minute of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Italy,[2] when Zinedine Zidane headbutted Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the chest, after he had verbally provoked him.[3] Zidane consequently received a red card and was sent off. France lost the match, which was Zidane's final match as a professional footballer.


Pompidou Centre[edit]

As France subsequently lost the match, exhibition organiser Alain Michaud has described it as "...against the tradition of making statues in honour of certain victories. It is an ode to defeat".[1]

In November 2012, Materazzi posed for a photo in front of the statue, and uploaded it to Twitter with the post "I Love Haters".[4]

Qatar Museums Authority[edit]

As part of Qatar Museums Authority public art program the sculpture was brought to Doha for an undisclosed amount on 4 October 2013, intended to be permanently installed on the Corniche near Al Mourjan restaurant.[5][6]

Jean Paul Engelen, QMA’s director of Public Art, said that he expects the sculpture to be equally popular in Qatar:

"Yes, we expect a lot of people to want to take photos with it, and of it. It’s an impressive piece. It’s a huge sculpture, and it’s done in the same style as Greek Mythological statues, but this glorifies human defects instead. It shows that although we sometimes treat footballers like gods, they’re not - they’re just human beings.”[7]

However the sculpture was removed on 30 October, owing to criticism from Islamic conservatives who complained that glorifying the infamous act of violence set a bad example for local youth and bordered on idolatry. It was then moved into the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.[8]

See also[edit]