With Sao Paulo hosting matches at the approaching World Cup, travelling fans are being alerted to an unmissable photo opportunity – themselves sinking a pre-game pint in the company of Osama Bin Laden.
The presence of a Bin Laden-themed bar – complete with lookalike owner – has caught the attention of online scribes this week, ahead of the big tournament in Brazil.
It is found in the city’s Anhangabau district, also the site of an official fan zone with big screens, and could become a popular detour for those supporters making the trip.
Landlord Ceará Francisco Helder Braga Fernandes became aware of his resemblance to the now deceased Bin Laden in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and rather than shying away from the comparison, he embraced it, renaming his establishment Bar do Bin Laden and even appearing on Brazilian television.
“Adorning the walls are at least a hundred pictures of Francisco in his Bin Laden attire, smiling alongside patrons of the bar,” he added, some of which can be found on its Tumblr page. More images can be found on FourSquare, and Francisco also has a presence on YouTube.
“I’m not gonna lie; the pride this guy has about being a Bin Laden lookalike is pretty unsettling. Interestingly, he is on every picture on the wall except one. Wanna know who that picture is of? Well if you guessed Jesus Christ, you’d be absolutely right! I left there feeling pretty confused!”
And it’s not a one-off. The website Fusion.net points out that a second Bin Laden-themed bar – Caverna do Bin Laden, or “Bin Laden’s Cave” – can be found just in Niteroi, around 25 kilometres north of Rio de Janeiro. It is also on FourSquare.
Creelman said: “It’s interesting because in Brazil, which has not really witnessed terrorism, they see Bin Laden as a funny kind of character rather than someone who is offensive, whereas in England and in the US, we have both experienced terrorism firsthand, so we take [the bar’s theme] differently.”
The Telegraph, London