Naples calls for submission of ideas for Maradona statue

The city of Naples called for submissions starting for a statue or other monument to honour football great Diego Maradona, who played for local club Napoli at the peak of his career.

News reports on Tuesday said that the two major murals in tribute to Maradona were close to completion in the city, one of them some 12 meters (39 feet) in height, the Xinhua news agency reported.

But the biggest news involved the plans for a major statue to pay homage to Maradona. The city invited sculptors to submit ideas for the newest monument in a city already filled with cultural riches including the 12th-century Castel Ovo, the 2,000-year-old Catacombs of San Gennaro, the Renaissance-era Royal Palace, and the baroque San Carlo Theater. The contest for submissions was formally opened on Tuesday.

The submissions will be evaluated by a committee made up of city officials, prominent art critics, football players, and Maradona’s son, Diego Armando Jr.

Maradona, who died at the age of 60 on November 25, 2020 in his native Argentina, played for Napoli from 1984-1991, a period that included the team’s only two Serie A championships.

His death sparked an outpouring of grief in Naples, marked in part by Napoli’s decision to change the name of what had been named “San Paolo Stadium” since it was constructed in 1959, to “Diego Armando Maradona Stadium” in the wake of the player’s death. The team also retired Maradona’s number 10, meaning it cannot be used by future players.