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Johannesburg gets its own Arch for Arch to celebrate the Tutu legacy

By: stagedoorscribbler - December 18, 2017

Desmond Tutu - Photograph by Hattie Miles

Johannesburg now has its very own ‘Arch for Arch’ matching the commemorative structure unveiled near St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town to mark Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 86th birthday back in October.

The original work was commissioned to celebrate the life and legacy of the great peace and social justice campaigner. A man who has been considered to be South Africa’s moral compass for more than 50 years.

 The complex assemblage was created by Craig Dykers, the co-founder of Nordic design Company Snohetta, with Johannesburg-based architect Thomas Chapman. It is made up of 14 individually arched beams of wood forming a dome. Each strand of wood bears a single line from the South African Constitution outlining the founding principles on which the country is built.

At the Cape town unveiling there was a  video message from Tutu’s friend and fellow freedom fighter the Dalai Lama, who praised him for his compassion, forgiveness, love and tolerance.

Now the sister arch has been unveiled at an anniversary celebration of the signing of the South African Constitution by former president Nelson Mandela on 10th December, 1996.

It’s in a significant location too. Johannesberg - the seat of South Africa’s Constitutional Court.

*Clive Conway is chair of the Tutu Foundation UK