Lion of Judah statue
Public Art : Lion of Judah
Sculptor: © Maurice Calka (1921 Poland – 1999 Paris,
Description: The 10m high carved black-stone monument
was erected to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of Emperor Haile Selassie. It is a modern interpretation of the
original statue of Lion of Judah.
Date Unveiled: 1955
Location: Calka's Lion of Judah stands outside the
National Theater on the western side at the Unity Square, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
History Behind Calka's Lion of Judah : The monument
was commissioned by Emperor Haile Selassie, who saw this as an opportunity to reflect Africa's move forward into
modern times. Henry Shomet, the Architect of the Addis Ababa City Hall, was instumental in recommending sculptor
Maurice Calka as his work reflected radical modernity.
The symbol of the monument became a logo of the former Ethiopian Tourism Commission and today is
still used by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Background of the Lion of Judah :
The Lion of Judah is a symbol of the Israelite tribe of Judah in the Book of Genesis. In Christian
tradition the Lion represents Jesus as he was from the tribe of Judah and is mentioned as the Lion of Judah in the
Book of Revelation (Rev 5:5). Judah, son of Jacob the Israelite, was the ancestor of King David, and of Mary,
the Mother of Jesus.
In Rastafari, "The Lion of Judah" represents Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, who was crowned
on November 2nd, 1930 with the titles King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of
God and Power of the Trinity. Rastas believe that Selassie is a direct descendant of the Israelite Tribe of Judah
through the lineage of King David and Solomon, and that he is also the Lion of Judah mentioned in the Book of