Yes, there’s a statue of Michael Jackson in Bucharest. It’s in Herastrau Park apparently, and although nobody who lives in Bucharest has ever seen it, we know it exists because Mark Hillsdon at the Daily Telegraph says so. Right here:
According to Hillsdon, Herastrau is home to ‘an odd mix of statues from Charles de Gaulle to Michael Jackson’. Indeed it is: nobody would dispute the first part of the sentence. From the shockingly awful statue of de Gaulle at the entrance (although it could be worse: Stalin stood here between 1952 and 1961) to the large collection of busts inside the park dedicated to global literary figures as diverse as Ady Endre and Taras Shevchenko, we have ourselves long admired the eclectic nature of Herastrau’s statuary. In fact, we have often suggested that the park would do well to publish a map of them all, which visitors can tick off as they walk around. We may even do so ourselves, if we can find the time.
Yet quite where the Michael Jackson statue would be placed on that map is, however, a bit of a mystery. For you see there isn’t one, at least not that we (or anybody else for that matter; Mark Hillsdon excepted) know of.
Which leads us to wonder where Hillsdon got his info? We assume he visited the city in order to write his piece, so if he could tell us where the Michael Jackson statue is (or even just send us a photo of it) we’d be very grateful, as we’d love to share that information with our own readers. We are not huge Jackson fans ourselves (although Off the Wall – the last album he made before going bonkers – is rather good), but we’re fairly certain that there are plenty of sad bastards reading our guide who would like to know where any Michael Jackson statue is.
Alternatively – and we would like to point out that this is just a theory, not an accusation – could it be that Hillsdon simply took a look at Bucharest In Your Pocket’s text about Herastrau, put two and two together and came up with five?
We ask because we write the following about Herastrau:
Charles de Gaulle is not the only historic figure honoured in this part of the park with a statue or bust, however. In fact, the alleyways and paths which fan out from the entrance are all dotted with famous people, from Romanian revolutionary Nicolae Balcescu to Bengali literature’s most important figure, Rabindranath Tagore. Look out also for local artists Nicolae Grigorescu, Constantin Brancusi and Theodor Aman, as well as writers George Cosbuc, Alexandru Vlahuta and Romania’s national poet, Mihai Eminescu. Other foreigners honoured with statues include William Shakespeare, Ady Endre, Sandor Petofi and Victor Hugo. There is even a statue of Prince Charming (Fat Frumos). We have long suggested that the park should publish a map of all its statues so that visitors can tick off those they see as they go around. Oh, and there’s a memorial to Michael Jackson too. Yes, really.
Note that we say ‘memorial’ to Michael Jackson. Not statue. For while there is no statue except in the imagination of Mark Hillsdon, there is most certainly (and no less bizarrely) a memorial. You can see it here. There is even an ‘Aleea Michael Jackson’ in Herastrau:
But no statue. Unless Mark Hillsdon can tell us otherwise.