TLC Africa

Liberia Monuments and Statues

This page is dedicated to the memory of R. Vanjah Richards, Sculpture Artist and Professor of Art, University of Liberia.

This Bronze Sculpture was done by R. Vanjah Richards and is located at the Liberian Broadcasting Radio Station in Paynesville, Monrovia.    The sculpture symbolizes traditional ways of conveying messages in the Liberian culture.  The talking drum, the dancing sasa are  traditional ways Liberians send messages.

Africans to climb to the pinnacle

"This sculpture was originally commissioned by the W. R Tolbert administration for erection at Providence Island atop the concrete base that can be seen as one crosses the Gabriel Johnson Tucker bridge on Johnson Street.

After the 1980 coup, in an effort to save it from being destroyed or stolen from the warehouse of the Ministry of Public Works, it was agreed to be used for Pres. Doe to unviel during the celebration of his inauguration in 1986. It was erected on the grounds of the Centennial Pavillion under the supervision of Wilbert A. J. Hoff, who
then worked with the Ministry of Public works. As Tolbert didn't live to unveil the stature, the actual meaning of the art piece was never officially made public. It could very well mean climbing the totem pole in search of "HIGHER HEIGHTS."

The monument of the Slave Trade symbolizes Liberia's journey to freedom and the role slavery played in it's history and formation of the Republic.  This carving is at the base of Liberia's first president, Joseph Jenkins Roberts monument.

Statue of Joseph Jenkins Roberts, Liberia's First President.

The Centennial Pavilion -
Where the presidents of Liberia are sworn in. It was renovated for Charles Taylor inauguration.  Many of monuments and statues can be found on the grounds of the Centennial Pavilion

Matilda Newport Cannon

This cannon is known as the Matilda Newport cannon and is located at Fort Norris on Ducor Hill.   The hill overlooks the city and bay of Monrovia, Cape Montserrado.

During the early days of the settlement that is now Monrovia, Matilda Newport as the story goes,was taking an evening stroll smoking her pipe, when she saw a group of  native Liberians in war paint advancing on the settlement.  She use her pipe to light this loaded cannon that was facing the direction the attackers were coming from.   BOOM!  The cannon went off.  The sound was so loud, it frighten the attackers who had never seen such a discharge of firing power before.  

Thus she save the settlement from being taken over by the attackers.  For over 133 years December 1, was observed as a national holiday honoring the heroic deed of  this daughter of Liberia.  

The Matilda Newport holiday was discontinued by William R. Tolbert, as well as Pioneer's Day, in his desire, it is believed, to demonstrate that he sought to further cement the unification of the Nation by pushing under the rug REAL history from the settlement days.

The holiday was discontinued, before the 1980 popular people revolution, that saw the rise of Samuel Doe and the people redemption council to power.