It’s been a long long time since I took a walk along the Esplanade, not to mention together with my family – my wife and my 2 kids! I must admit I’ve never been there together with my family at all…what a shame. Why? As usual, no place to park; must walk very far; MRT station also dunno where hehe….all my shit excuses I must say!
The 8.6M tall and 70 tonnes Merlion was built in 1972 at the mouth of the Singapore River before the Shifting of Merlion. It was built by the late Singapore craftsman, Mr. Lim Nang Seng at a cost of about S$165,000 if I didn’t remember worngly.
30 years later in April 2002, the Merlion has to be shifted about 120M from it’s original position.
The operation involved;
- hoisting the Merlion on to the barge
- sailing the barge to the foot of the Esplanade Bridge
- hoisting the Merlion over the bridge back on to the barge
- installing the Merlion at its new home just next to One Fullerton building
Below shows the old and new location;
The relocation cost is about S$7.5M, much more than to build it right? I’m not too sure what this cost include too.
But why the need to relocate the Merlion? After the Esplanade Bridge was built, views of the Merlion from the waterfront were blocked. Also the Merlion has stopped spouting water since 1998, so there was a need to relocate it. You may wish to read the URA web site for more details. The relocation process can be found here too.
Whenever I see this Merlion, I remember how my mother brought me and my brother to look for the sculptor of this Merlion Mr. Lim Nang Seng’s sister. His sister was my mother’s secondary school classmate. They were staying at Chinatown then and my mother sense of direction is very poor, so we had a tough time looking for their house. That was probably one of my longest walk at that time.