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Design Indaba unveils the Arch for the Arch in Cape Town

22 Sep 2017

Cape Town: When the mayor of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille asked Design Indaba CEO, Ravi Naidoo for help with a monument to honour human rights activist, the Archbishop Desmond Tutu, we looked to the name he is affectionately known by; "The Arch"; for inspiration.

Archbishop Tutu is a bold beacon of strength and pride not only for South Africans but for many around the world.

It is these qualities that we want to celebrate with the Arch for the Arch monument that will tower over the walkway that connects Parliament, St George's Cathedral, the Slave Lodge as well as the Company's Garden.

With Design Indaba as commissioner, and financial services group Liberty as the sponsor, we asked award-winning architects Snohetta and Thomas Chapman of Local Studio, to develop The Arch for the Arch.

We are proud to announce that after months of careful craftmanship, design ingenuity and engineering, the memorial is ready to be unveiled to the public.

It will be unveiled on October 07, 2017 coinciding with Archbishop Tutu's 86th birthday.

Sydney Mbhele, Chief Marketing Officer at Liberty Group, says: "In celebrating 21 years of the South African Constitution, Liberty is proud to be part of honouring Archbishop Tutu as one of the leading activists for our democracy. The Arch is a symbolic memento of what we as a country have achieved, while serving as a reminder to each citizen in the country about upholding the values and spirit of the Constitution."

Mbhele affirms, "Advocating for freedom, a principle enshrined in the Constitution, is something we at Liberty are passionate about. In our 60th year, we continue to pursue our purpose of enabling financial freedom and changing people's realities."

The physical structure of the arch consists of 14 individual arched beams of wood, which together form a dome.

The choice of material was due to its high durability and resistance against rot and fungus, making it ideal for use in outdoor construction.

A multidisciplinary architectural endeavour, the 14 pillars of the arch will serve to symbolise the fourteen chapters of the South African Constitution.

Our Constitution is considered to be one of the most progressive in the world and similarly to how an arch relies on a keystone to avoid collapse, so too do South African freedoms rely on the Constitution.

It's a fitting tribute to Archbishop Tutu, a global human rights activist and the man who coined the term, the 'Rainbow Nation'.

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