Singaporeans and tourists alike will say goodbye to the largest Merlion statue in Singapore.
Sentosa's giant Merlion statue will be demolished soon.
Its last day of operation will be on Oct. 20, 2019.
To be replaced with new sensory route
According to Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), the 37m-tall iconic statue will be demolished after Oct. 20, but the date of demolition has yet to be fixed, as construction plans have not been finalised.
The SDC chief executive Quek Swee Kuan said that there are no plans of relocating the Merlion.
SDC will explore ways to commemorate this iconic statue.
In its place, construction will commence on a new themed thoroughfare, which will link the existing Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) and the beaches in the south of Sentosa.
This is the first phase of the Sentosa-Brani masterplan which Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong mentioned in his National Day Rally 2019 speech.
Plans include reshaping and rejuvenating Sentosa Island and the adjacent Pulau Brani into a leisure and tourist destination.
The upcoming Sentosa Sensoryscape project, which costs S$90 million, involves a brand new 30,000m2 and two-tiered thoroughfare.
The thoroughfare will feature lookout points, water features and other architectural elements which will contribute to a multi-sensory experience for visitors strolling across the island.
The Sentosa Sensoryscape project will be completed in 2022, and the next few phases of the masterplan will be rolled out progressively over the next 20 to 30 years.
Sentosa's Merlion first built in 1995
Resembling a mythical creature with a lion's head and a fish's body, the Merlion is the mascot of Singapore, featuring prominently in many local souvenirs.
The Sentosa Merlion has long been an iconic tourist attraction since it was first presented in 1995.
This was after the miniature version, standing at 8.6m tall, was unveiled at the Singapore River in 1972.
It is the largest and tallest in Singapore, and the only one where visitors are allowed to interact and explore—visitors are able to enter the Merlion at its base and climb up 12 storeys to overlook the lush greenery of the island from the statue's mouth or its head.
At the time, it had cost S$8 million to build, and was designed by Australian sculptor James Martin.
Top photo from rhoelilagan / Flickr and courtesy of Sentosa Development Corporation