And maybe you remember when a shoe monument was built in Tikrit by a sculptor (assisted by orphans, no less) to mark the momentous occasion?
Well, just now on CNN and CNN.com, I’ve learned that the monument has been taken down by Iraqi government officials.
CNN says “By tradition, throwing a shoe, is the most insulting act in the Arab world.” If the reasoning behind this train of thought were that you are willing to lose your valuable shoe in order to make a statement, it would make a lot of sense to me, but apparently the reasoning is because the shoe and foot are “ritually unclean.”
Thousands of miles away, meanwhile, in Marikina, the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, shoes are worshipped and idolized as the great vehicles they are, fantastic giant shoe floats parade down the river and the Shoe Museum features shoes from Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos’ collection.
My favorite shoe monument is the Bata Shoe Museum, an entire museum in Toronto devoted to the history of shoes and modern museum-worthy contemporary shoe couture. I was lucky enough to visit it last year. It’s full of everything from high-heeled Italian sandals of the early 18th century to beautiful modern Louboutins, and there is currently an exhibit on ballet shoes called “On Pointe” until February 22.