“Big” statues not the only ones that make the cut

The Hout Bay Leopard
The Hout Bay Leopard

Around almost every corner in Cape Town, one can find statues commemorating those who shaped our history. For example, the statues of Nelson Mandela, Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu and FW de Klerk which stand together in Nobel Square at the Waterfront.

Drawing a countless number of tourists from all corners of the world, these public effigies are part of the fabric of travel. Standing tall, some watching over the city as it moves by.

However, not all of these monuments are large, towering pieces of history. The city is home to statues that might not be considered “big” but instead were erected to share memories that were made.

“There is no official smallest statue in Cape Town,” says City of Cape Town official, Zolisa Pakade, Department of Arts and Culture.

However, the three statues that are unofficially considered the smallest are the – Hout Bay Leopard, Just Nuisance and Scott’s Memorial. Each with their own story, these pieces of art in their own right give us insight to what was.

The Hout Bay Leopard, which was placed on its rocky pedestal in March 1963, a gift from Ivan Milford Barbeton. The bronze leopard is in memory of the last leopard sited in the area in 1930.

The beloved Great Dane, Just Nuisance whose statue lives in the heart of Simon’s Town, Jubilee Square was the only dog ever to be fully enlisted in the Royal Navy, ‘serving’ between 1939 and 1943.

But, the smallest of them all is Scott Memorial, which depicts Robert Falcon Scott’s ship, the Terra Nova.

The statue that can be seen on Heerengracht road reserve (northern) at the intersection of Hans Stijdom Avenue commemorates Robert Falcon and his four companions’ death on March 1912 while returning from the South Pole.

So no matter the size, each of these effigies shares a memory of a time that has passed but is not forgotten.

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