A little statue in the corner has a story to tell

I love the Organization of American States building. It is absolutely fascinating and filled with overwhelming art projects both inside and out.

One is tucked away from the front view, but you shouldn’t miss this one. Just to the right corner of the 17th St. property, behind the trees, is a statue of the Prophet Daniel.

Yes, that Daniel. The one who lived among the lions.

The eight-foot concrete statue was a gift from the Brazilian government in 1962. It’s a replica of a 1805 soapstone statue by sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa.

Daniel is a fascinating Biblical figure. As a youth born of Jewish nobles, Daniel served in the Babylon court of Nebuchadnezzar. Yes, that Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel could interpret visions. The ruler asked about his dream and Daniel told him for sinning against God the king would lose his mind and wander among the animals. Sure enough, it happened.

Years later, Nebuchadnezzar’s son and successor Belshazzar summoned Daniel to decipher some words that appeared after the ruler drank from goblets

taken from Solomon’s temple. Daniel essentially said he was screwed and his kingdom would soon be taken over by the Persians and Medes. That night, Belshazzar was slain.

Uh, I wouldn’t ask Daniel anything if I was the next guy. Anyway, Daniel later defied a ruler’s edict of no prayers to anyone other than him. The ruler liked Daniel, but when the latter defied the order he was cast among the lions to be eaten. The next morning, Daniel was alive and well among the lions.

Here’s my favorite part – Daniel’s accusers were then thrown to the lions. If only we could all treat our critics that way.

Heckuva of a story – worth walking around the corner to see the statue.

About Rick

Rick Snider is a native Washingtonian, long-time journalist and licensed tour guide since 2010.
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