2011 Replica Merdeka Lions, Balestier market, Singapore

26 September 2011 , Monday

A question about the fate of the Queenstown Lions on the local Singapore photography forum Clubsnap, someone replied that he saw it at the Balestier Market.

After checking some online photos of the Balestier Market Lions, I found that it was a replica of the Merdeka Lions.

If you are wondering where are the Merdeka Lions, it is now at SAFTI Military Institute (SAFTI MI) guarding the watch tower.

I am not sure if civilian are allowed into the SAFTI MI to take photos of the Merdeka Lions.

I wish that the Merdeka Lions by Rodolfo Nolli be relocated to the Esplanade area accessible to the general public.

]1[ The replica Merdeka Lions at Balestier market.

]2[ Right replica Merdeka lion side view.

]3[ Right replica Merdeka lion front view.

]4[ Right replica Merdeka lion damaged tail “repaired” with tape.

]5[ Left replica Merdeka lion side view.

]6[ Left replica Merdeka lion front view.

]7[ Left replica Merdeka lion tail view.




]11[ Original Merdeka Lions now situated at SAFTI MI guarding the tower.

Photo from Clubsnap.

Merdeka lions
One of the distinctive features of the bridge was a pair of stone lions, dubbed the “Merdeka Lions”. Commissioned by the PWD in 1955, the majestic statues were produced in the Philippines and were positioned in a crouch and roaring, with their heads turned to the right to face oncoming traffic. The lions stood at the base of tall stone monuments of blue mosaic at each end of the bridge from its opening in 1956 until the widening of Nicoll Highway in 1966, when they were relocated to Stadium Walk, near the entrance of Kallang Park.

In 1987, several letters to the press suggested that the lions should be moved to a more appropriate site, but locations such as building entrances, steps or driveways were considered unsuitable as the statues would not face the viewer because of the orientation of their heads. The PWD later transferred the statues to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for eventual relocation to the future SAFTI Military Institute (SAFTI MI), which was seen as a fitting site for the lions with their symbolic qualities of courage, strength and excellence. In the meantime, MINDEF stored the statues at the old SAFTI at Pasir Laba Camp. On 22 July 1995, the lions were finally moved to the new SAFTI MI at Upper Jurong Road, where they were installed at the base of the 17-storey observation tower.

Source: National Library Board Singapore


Merdeka Bridge Lions


Fate of the Lion statues at Margaret drive



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