Symbols of Emancipation

Symbols of Emancipation

Did you know about this grand, cultural art installation? Bolted onto the hillside rock near the Emilio Wilson Cultural and Historical Park, are giant art busts of local icons intrinsically tied to the immediate area. The depict Emilio Wilson and One Tete Lohkay.

Open to the public, the art installation – dubbed ‘Symbols of Emancipation’ and created by Michael Maghiro – hovers over a viewpoint terrace that offers sweeping views of Cul-de-Sac and all the way to Great Bay. There are plans to create a small recreation area at the same spot in the future, featuring a pool, restaurant, and a statue park.

The busts were created in 2022 by Maghiro, a celebrated sculptor who is well known for another bronze depiction of the legendary freedom fighter Lohkay, amongst other artistic displays. That statue, shown running with a bundle of sugarcane sticks on her shoulder, is the centerpiece to the Cay Hill roundabout. Other works include the three bronze brown pelicans at the roundabout at the airport, and the Salt Pickers monument in Philipsburg.

Nestled into the green hillside of Kenepa Garden Estate, one of St. Maarten’s newest housing developments, the artwork can be spotted from the L.B.Scott Road and is drawing the attention of cultural tours. It was conceptualised by Henri Brookson, landowner and managing director of M&M Development, who is intent on creating a peaceful neighborhood while preserving the calm and quaint sense of place that exists.

Brookson and Edward Dest form the board of the foundation Community Aid Sentry Hill (CASH), which supports many cultural endeavors including buying steel pans (US $ 10,000) for the Mighty Dow Foundation, the restoration of the above-mentioned statue of Lohkay at the Cay Hill roundabout, and donating to the Sint Maarten Library (US $10,000) for the printing of a St. Maarten picture book.

The Daily Herald

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