The eye-catching 10-meter-tall artwork commemorates the landing of the first seaplanes in Aruba on August 18, 1923, and will serve as a commemorative landmark in honor of 100 years of aviation in Aruba.
A small group of dignitaries, sponsors, and special guests gathered at Linear Park near the first official landing site constructed in 1935. In this area, back then called Baca Morto, the new art installation now stands tall amidst the Linear Park paved walkway and parking.
During the unveiling ceremony, all invitees watched a video showcasing the rich history of 100 years of aviation in Aruba, followed by speeches of Joost Meijs, CEO of Aruba Airport Authority (AAA), Minister of Transportation Ursell Arends and Anthony Kirchner, Deputy Director of Department of Civil Aviation Aruba (DCA). The speeches acknowledged the contributions of Aruba’s aviation to the local community and economy while emphasizing the importance of preserving the aviation heritage through the newly unveiled public art installation.
Local artist Gilbert Senchi created the artwork to serve as a monument to commemorate 100 years of aviation in Aruba. Senchi worked on the installation for half a year, modeling and molding the bronze and steel components for the 10-meter-tall artwork at his art workshop in Colombia and afterward welding and compiling the 4,000-kilogram structure in a local workshop in San Nicolas, Aruba. Its length represents ten decades of aviation history in Aruba, while the steel statue in the shape of a plane’s tail refers to the future of flying. The bronze replica of the Curtiss-H16 airplane atop the structure brings a salute to the historic first landing in Aruba 100 years ago.
Minister of Finance & Culture, Xiomara Maduro, Minister of Tourism & Public Health, Dangui Oduber, Minister of Transport, Integrity, Nature and Elderly Affairs, Ursell Arends, Anthony Kirchner, Joost Meijs, and the sponsors of the public art piece, conducted the official dedicatory christening of the art installation. The art installation is a gift to the Aruban community and made possible by the Aruba Airport Authority with contributions of the Government of Aruba, AHATA, ANSA, ATA, De Wit Stores N.V., Dufry Aruba N.V., and One Happy Bar N.V.
After the ceremony, AAA employees gathered in front of the new public art piece for a commemorative picture moment, all dressed in special attire to celebrate 100 years of aviation.