Another replica that is special to me is the Spanish monument at A Coruña in Galicia. It is a beautiful sculpture modeled after Stonehenge, with a poem carved into the lintels, commemorating those who died at the hands of the Franco regime. It is positioned on a hill above the sea and all in all seems very evocative of human sorrow and longing but with a tinge of hope. I would love to go there! Maybe someone on the History Channel or BBC would like to do a show in which once a week I visit and talk about one of the large permanent replicas. Lol!
photo by Jacobo Fraga, aka Lewosky
Because the blog has been around so long, we were able to follow the long process that resulted in the building of the pink granite Stonehenge replica in Esperance, Western Australia. Now we (when I say we I mean me, but the Clonehenge persona is not actually my personality. I invented a voice for it and that voice uses the editorial we) are following developments on the Achill henge story. People post news on the Clonehenge Facebook group wall, usually, before I search and learn about them myself.
The Facebook group caught on much more than the Twitter feed or the Clonehenge Facebook Page. Although, I must point out, the Clonehenge Twitter is followed by no less illustrious a personage than Mr. Mike Pitts, along with other people who research, think, write and tweet about Stonehenge, including Arthur Pendragon and some bloke called Heritage Action. Who would name their poor child that, I ask you?
While blabbing on, I have been trying to think of the worst henge. Not easy because I love them all in different ways. There is one, claimed to be made of clay but that actually looks as if it is made of dog excrement allowed to dry until it is white. Also, of course, there are so many that are accompanied by Easter Island moai, those heads, you know. This has always grated on me a little, much as it has always bothered me that penguins and polar bears are often depicted together in wintry scenes on pajamas, for example, or in children’s toys, while the fact is, they live as far apart as you can get on this globe. Stonehenge and the heads, too, are on opposite sides of the earth, but in the popular mind they are almost the same thing.
And in the not-sure-if-it’s-terrible-or-good department, there is a Stonehenge in a huge cemetery in Japan that has a Buddhist shrine in the middle. I think it has moai nearby as well, so it is kind of special. Probably the actual worst is the one in Kennewick, Washington State. Pathetic, really, just something a pensioner built in his front garden, but how can you judge it against these other ones? The beautiful white limestone replica in Montana was built by a millionaire. In a way, the smaller one required more dedication to the idea than that did.
I could go on. There are fountains, sculptures, planetarium replicas, and more, from Brazil to Malaysia. One I just recalled, a beautiful set of large sculptures called Caelum Moor, is in Texas also. It is the most controversial, with some right wing Christians calling it demonic, wanting it removed and claiming it will be used for Satanic worship. I guess that’s what I didn’t expect when I started this: how many different topics I end up discussing as I post about these replicas, from religion to the environment, conspiracy theories in connection with the Georgia Guidestones, war, politics, food, movies–it goes on and on. I never thought anyone would be arrested for building a replica, but recently Joe McNamara was. It is another door into the complexities of human nature. One small henge is made of wool sheared from seaweed-eating sheep. It’s all very curious.
That’s way more than you asked for, but usually no one asks me about this and it has been a journey of years now, shared with almost no one, so it is fun to reminisce a bit and talk about the experience. Thanks for asking. There are still many small and temporary replicas being made and I could be posting a lot more than I do these days, but I have moved on to other projects and rarely have the time or inclination. I wouldn’t be posting at all if people were not still submitting.
What is it about? What is it about Stonehenge that makes people want to reproduce it in every size and material possible? I think of the character in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, building that mesa in his basement. The compulsion seems to strike people much like that. Does it have some subconscious meaning? Who knows? But it has kept me seeing the good side of human nature, the playful side, the curious side, the side that thinks of the ancients and looks at the stars. Just being reminded that mankind has a good side makes it worthwhile in the end!