Sunday, July 30, 2006
The Vanishing Impala
Oppenheimer Park, situated between President and Pritchard Streets, was a pleasant green spot in between the high rise commercial blocks of the old Johannesburg. Its central feature was a fountain, over which lept a stunning piece of sculpture: a series of Impala, all linked. The statue was so marvellous that it was a tourist attraction in the official guides to Johannesburg. Here is what it looked like then:
By the late 1990s, Oppenheimer Park had been trashed by the New South Africa. Bits of the statue were stolen by being hacksawed off, probably to be sold as scrap metal. Finally, the inevitable happened, and the entire statue was stolen, hacked off its pedastal. On the pictures below, the original mountings can still be seen. The council has placed a table where the statues and fountain used to be.