A Tour of Seychelles Statues and Sculptures

Liberty Monument, Victoria, Mahe. ©Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency
Liberty Monument, Victoria, Mahe. ©Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency
Photo of Chantelle Howell
3 February 2017

There are numerous statues and sculptures dotted around Victoria, the capital city of Seychelles. The earliest dates back to 1900, with the most recent being unveiled in 2014. Representations from Queen Victoria, to the history of the Seychelles ‘melting pot culture’, there is a whole variety of statues and sculptures to see when you are visiting Victoria.

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain

This was unveiled in 1900 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and you can find it on Independence Avenue. The Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain features what is believed to be the smallest likeness of Queen Victoria in the world. The statue you see today on top of the fountain is actually a replica, and the porcelain original can be found in the National Museum. And aside from being really very beautiful, many people don’t know that this fountain is actually drinking fountain.

Today, along with the clock tower (see below), the Jubilee fountain represents a time when Seychelles was part of the British Empire. It also represents the close relationship still held with Britain today.

Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee Fountain, Independence Avenue, Mahe, Seychelles

Clock Tower

Memorial, Historical Landmark, Architectural Landmark
Victoria Clock Tower. Seychelles
Victoria Clock Tower. Seychelles | ©Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikipedia
Standing 25 feet high in the centre of Victoria is the Clock Tower, known locally as Lorloz. It is undoubtedly the most famous monument in Seychelles. It was officially inaugurated in 1903 as a memorial of Queen Victoria after her death in 1901. A first glance will tell you that Lorloz is a ‘mini Big Ben’. It is infact, a copy of a copy! The Seychelles clocktower is a copy of the Vauxhall Clocktower in London, which is in turn a copy of the original Big Ben.

Originally black, the clock tower was painted with an aluminium coating in 1935 to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V.

The clock tower was always meant to have chimed, but it never did as the part that was supposed to strike the bell never worked. That is, until 1999, when the clock underwent a major renovation which also included installing electric mechanisms.

Bicentennial Monument

Known locally as ‘Moniman traw lezel’ meaning Monument with Three Wings. It was erected in 1978, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the city of Victoria. It represents the cultural roots of the Seychellois people, a blend of Africa, Asia and Europe. The mix of cultural heritage is something that Seychellois are very proud of. You will often here the term ‘melting pot’ used to describe the Seychellois cultures.

Bicentennial Monument, Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles

The Bicentennial Monument, representing the roots of Seychellois culture | ©David Stanley / Flickr

The Bicentennial Monument, representing the roots of Seychellois culture | ©David Stanley / Flickr

Liberation Monument

A controversial monument to say the least. Known locally as Zonm Lib (Free Man), it has always been met with mixed emotions. It was installed in 1978 to commemorate the ‘Liberation Day‘ of June 5 1977. Liberation day is the day that the Coup d’etat by the then Prime Minister France Albert René removed the first President of Seychelles, James Manchem. Three deaths were officially recorded from the coup, and this is the reason that the statue is controversial. One of the deaths was a supporter of the coup, the other 2 were not. Therefore some people feel that the statue represents division.

The Liberation monument was surrounded in controversy again in 2014, when it was announced that it would be moved to make way for a new monument, the Liberty monument (see below). It has been moved to ruling party Parti Lepep’s premises, just 150m away from its original location.

Liberty Monument

Unveiled in June 2014, the Liberty Monument is cast in solid bronze and was designed by Tom Bowers, and it shows a man and a woman standing strong, holding the Seychelles National Flag overhead.

When the statue was unveiled, the president at the time, James Michel said that it represented “the unity of our people, patriotism, hope, the march of a nation towards a future full of promises. It represents those who dedicated their lives to freedom, those who fell for freedom. It is also a tribute to our youth. It evokes the richness and beauty of our environment, without forgetting our national symbols.”

Liberty Monument, Victoria, Mahe. ©Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency

Liberty Monument, overlooked by the Trois Frères Mountains. ©Joe Laurence, Seychelles News Agency

Liberty Monument, 5th June Avenue, Mahe, Seychelles

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