The famous Sentosa Merlion statue in Singapore will be taken down to make way for a themed linkway between the north and south shores of Sentosa. This is part of a plan to give the resort island and its adjacent Pulau Brani a facelift. The last day of operations for the monument will be on October 20. The four eateries and shops around it will close on October 21.
Why is the Merlion being taken down?
The proposed linkway (which is a pedestrian bridge) is going to cost $90 million. The bridge will connect Sentosa and Pulau Brani. Experts believe that the move will help increase public appeal. The Sentosa Sensoryscape project is going to be a two-tiered road that is expected to be the size of more than five football fields. The bridge is going to have interesting features for travellers, such as look-out points, water features, and other architectural wonders. The project is expected to be completed in 2022.
Quek Swee Kuan, Chief Executive, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) said, “We won’t relocate the Merlion because of its size, but we are considering how to commemorate it.” A new icon is being considered for Sentosa. The number of travellers to Sentosa has significantly increased over the years prompting the move to build a wider thoroughfare. Sensoryscape will make way for double the current pedestrian capacity.
History of the Merlion
The Merlion has always been the most prominent structure representing Singapore. Merlion stands for ‘mer’, which means sea, and with the second half ‘lion’ it represents Singapore’s origin as a fishing village. The lion’s head is known as Singapura which was the original name of Singapore. The structure was designed by Alec Fraser-brunner and was installed back in 1972. There are multiple Merlions in Singapore, but the one in Sentosa is the largest.