Tuesday, June 6, 2023

‘The Soul of the earth’

The Department of National Museum, Monuments and Art Gallery and the Spanish authorities are in the process of concluding an agreement that will result in the construction of one of the eight Vertices of the World, which will make the CKGR an international tourist destination of renown. The bulk of the initial costs of the project is expected to be borne by the Spanish, whilst Botswana would bear the long term maintenance and tourism management costs and thus also (Botswana) will gain directly and immensely.

According to Rafael Trenor, a Spanish professional artist and creator of The Soul of the World, who leads the work on the project, “This is a sculptural project that we are proposing as a monument to the Earth. It is our offering to the earth as planet; generous and perfect; and to the Earth as that vast, all-encompassing dimension where concepts such as nation, race, borders or species become meaningless.”

The Soul of the World, which in itself is a superior creation of art, is premised on the notion that homage should be offered to that many-named “goddess” who appears in all original myths and who, made fertile by the sky, engenders and nurtures those who dwell within her. “Throughout history, she has been honoured by countless peoples as Mother Earth, but her sacred Nature, revered by generations of humanity, has been tragically neglected in our times” said Trenor.
Additionally, he said, the “Soul of the World” is an ancient philosophical concept found in the thought of many cultures and places that have never had any contact between them. Century after century and in a multitude of forms, it makes its appearance in those fragments of the highest human thought that we possess.

To give expression to this powerful concept “in a way that would let us see or, rather, remember-that the Earth is a living being, ‘a great animal,’ and that it was made by its creator not only of elementary matter, but also of soul (anima)”, Trenor proposes, in conjunction with at least eight governments, including Botswana, to erect what have come to be known as the eight vertexes representing the pillars that “hold” the globe.

Gaogakwe Phorano, Director of the National Museum, Monuments and Art Gallery, said, “Currently, there are some ongoing investigations and studies meant to eventually advise the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on the feasibility and scope of the proposed project. The present stage of investigations entails concept analysis, identification of stakeholders, suitability of the location being considered. In addition, Phorano said, the impact of the project on the environment and archeological sites is an integral part of the ongoing assessment.

However, information turned up by Sunday Standard investigations has revealed that the project is being considered, subject to the outcome of the investigations and relevant analysis, within a large expanse of about 50 kilometers on the western margins of the CKGR, but the actual location is intended on an area of about 40 by 40 meters, while the monument size will not exceed 15 by 15 and about 3 meters high. The Museum’s top man was unable to conceal his excitement at the prospects that come with the project.

“We envisage the area will be a tourism destination…” Apart from the economic, the project seems to hold a lot of potential for educational purposes ÔÇö imagine the long term effect of evoking the sense of “globality” that this would have on students, standing at this monument and told “if you were to dig right where you are standing you would emerge in Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean; that would be great.” He enthused.

Inspired by Plato in the Timaeus, when he said, “He (the Creator) gave it (the Earth) a smooth and even body, at all points equidistant from the centre, complete and perfect. And in the centre of this cosmic body, he set a Soul”, the sculptural work consists, in the excavation or “discovery” of eight corners or vertices that form that imaginary inner cube. The Soul of the World will be composed of two fundamental elements: the Sphere of Earth, and an immense Cube that is imagined as inscribed in its interior, and whose diagonal…equaling the diameter of the planet-will be 12,756 km premised on real life GPS coordinates, that have been mathematically devised using a specially designed instrument.

Other countries where the vertices have been erected are Spain, Corn Islands in Nicaragua, Hawaii and Lake Baikal in Buryat Republic. Yet according to Trenor, each vertex will have its own personality. Its presence will also render homage to this feature or the specific area of the Earth where it emerges from the subsoil. The sculptural will be complete when all the vertices would have been uncovered where they emerge on earth.

Additionally, Phorano said, “Botswana will be the owner of the monument, holding it, as it were, in custody for the International community, perhaps in similar spirit to the way World Heritage Sites are owned by State parties.


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