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Vandals target Tutu ‘Arch for Arch’ monument in Cape Town

Cape Town – The Arch for Arch structure near St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town has become the target of vandals.

The monument was erected by Design Indaba and Interactive Africa in 2017 to celebrate one of South Africa’s most beloved figures, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, on his birthday in October.

“Bolts have been removed from the structure, which are very expensive to replace,” said Interactive Africa project leader Robyn-Lee Pretorius.

The metal plates bearing the preamble of the Constitution are also in the process of being replaced.

“We expected vandalism because it is in a public space. It took three months to construct and a lot of work was put into it. It does hurt to see it vandalised.”

Pretorius said that a member of their team was assessing the damage and ways to prevent it being defaced in the future.

“We are looking at solutions to the problem,” she said.

“We are putting [in] new bolts that are more difficult to remove, but we are considering putting in plastic bolts as steel is difficult to replace.”

A prototype of the structure was unveiled at the Design Indaba conference in 2017 by Snøhetta architects co-founder Craig Dykers, and Johannesburg-based architect Thomas Chapman of Local Studio.

The structure consists of 14 arched beams which were bent by boat builder Dario Farcic in Johannesburg. Each strand of wood has a line from the South African Constitution’s preamble.

Another version of the arch has been installed at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. DM

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