The riders

The riders

Quotes from the book ‘From Marcus Aurelius to Kim Jong-il

The most portrayed riders almost all played an important, if not to say decisive role in the foundation of their nations. They are symbols of independence and nationalism.

Those who most frequently appear are as follows (all the numbers of statues in this chapter refer to original ones, that is exclusive replicas):

1 Shivaji Bhonsle, 27 statues 2 Simon Bolivar, 21 statues 3 Jeanne d’Arc, 16 statues 4 Wilhelm I, 15 (remaining) statues 5 Giuseppe Garibaldi, 14 statues……………

………..With no fewer than 27 equestrian statues, all in India, Shivaji Bhonsle is the most portrayed rider I know. His statues can be found in almost every town and city in India, particularly in the state of Maharashtra. Actually, Bhonsle is a little different from the others in the list, in the sense that he was not specifically a freedom fighter. He was………………..

………………….In France: Jeanne d’Arc. She is the national heroine of the country. She gained prominence when she lifted the siege of Orléans and led the French army to several significant victories, thus paving the way for the coronation of Charles VII in Reims. There are at least 16 statues of her

…………..In the US: George Washington. As Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Washington led the first successful revolution against a colonial empire in world history, and he was the first President of the United States. This international icon for liberation and nationalism is honoured with 11 equestrian statues, one of which is in Paris

……………By far the majority of riders are male. Only 4 per cent of them are female, and Jeanne d’Arc and Lakshmibai account together for 60 per cent of these.