Life-size bronze statue of Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be unveiled in Century City

A life-size bronze statue of Archbishop Desmond Tutu will be unveiled in Century City, Cape Town on Thursday.

The life-size statue of the late Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu will join the other 100 iconic resistance leaders in Long March to Freedom.

PICTURE: Century City - Long March To Freedom

‘Long March to Freedom’ is a one-of-a-kind monumental procession of life-size bronze statues, telling a 350-year story of South Africa’s liberation history through the lives of the persons represented. Some of those depicted are well known - Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Beyers Naude, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Luthuli, OR Tambo, to name but a few.

The unveiling of Tutu’s statue falls part of South Africa’s commemoration of Human Rights Month.

Desmond passed away at the age of 90 in December 2021.

The sculpture is created by Cape Town artists Cristina Salvoldi and Tania Lee, and cast by the Loup Fine Art Foundry in White River, Mpumulanga.

‘’But there are many more whose stories have been lost over time. It is an immersive and moving experience as visitors connect with the lives of the persons so vividly created in bronze - from the Khoi leaders of the 1600’s, to proud Xhosa and Zulu Kings, warriors, prophets and clerics, to the men and women who led the liberation movements through the dark years of apartheid in South Africa, the procession is a sweeping narrative of pride in the country’s diverse history and cultures. This is the place to rediscover your roots and reflect as the country seeks answers to current socio-economic issues and deep questions of identity,’’ said Century City in a statement.

CEO of the National Heritage Project NPC, developers, owners, and operators of the Long March to Freedom, Dali Tambo, said a statue of the late Tutu was always on the cards.

“It had always been planned to include Desmond Tutu in a place of high honour as soon after his sad passing as possible.”

“Local and international visitors ask daily why he isn’t included, and our answer is always – we have the design, but we don’t have the funds to complete the statue. We are deeply grateful, as the rest of the world will be, that Woolworths SA stepped in and agreed to cover the costs of making the bronze. It is our belief that adding this iconic and much-loved individual to Long March to Freedom will raise its profile and encourage other corporates to follow the Woolworths lead and support the ongoing existence of this incredible exhibition” added Tambo.

CEO, Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Janet Jobson, could not contain the foundation’s excitement of the news of the life-size bronze statue.

“[We are] thrilled that the Arch is going to be so honoured and included in Long March to Freedom! We are looking forward to collaborating going forward, telling the story of the Arch and all the stalwarts who preceded him.”

The life-size bronze statue of the late Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, will only be accessible for the public on Friday.

Done by: Mitchum George


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