The Merlion statue
Public Art : The Merlion
Sculptor: © Lim Nang Seng (1907 - 1987) and his three
Description: The 26 foot (8.6 metres) high, 80
ton concrete Merlion (half-lion, half-fish), which is the official mascot of Singapore, was designed as
part of the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board's program to attract tourists to their fair city. The Merlion which
rests on its tail sprays a fountain of water from its mouth into the Singapore River. At night the base lights up,
sending a green hue over the fish's scales. The statue also pipes music for tourist pleasure.
Date Unveiled: Work on the statue began in November,
1971 and was completed in August of 1972 but was officially unveiled by the Singapore Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan
Yew, on his birthday, on the 15th September, 1972.
Cost: $165,000 (Singapore currency)
Location: The Merlion statue was originally located
at the Mouth of the Singapore River on The Esplanade but on the 15th of September, 2002 it was moved to its
current location outside the Fullerton Hotel, Singapore.
The Merlion has been erected as a symbol to welcome all visitors to Singapore.
It was formally installed at a ceremony on 15 September 1972 by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, then Prime
Singapore Tourist Promotion Board
Merlion Trivia: The sculptor, Seng, used the
logo of the Tourism Board, which was designed by Mr Frank Brunner (the then curator of the Van Kleef Aquarium), as
his inspiration for the statue. Kwan Sai Kheong, then Vice Chancellor of the University of Singapore, and
Ambassador to the Philippines is often mistakenly credited with being the designer of the logo.
In 2012, for the Merlion's 40th birthday, it was given a makeover. The famous icon was hidden from
the public for 5 months while cracks were filled, stains were scrubbed away and the base was replaced.
In 2012 an English man contacted the Singapore Tourist board requesting permission to have the
Merlion tattooed on his body.