They are plain and simple, three pairs of extended white wings in masonry, standing on the roundabout at the 5th of June and Liberation Avenues. Conspicuous as they are, they invariably leave visitors guessing at the significance of such a graceful piece of geometry. This is the Bicentennial Monument, referred to in Creole as the Moniman trwa lezel (three–winged monument).
It was erected in 1978 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the town of Victoria, which was founded as L’Établissement du Roi in 1778 by the Frenchman Charles Routier de Romainville. Charles Routier of Romainville, born in Paris around 1739 and died in Saint-Louis (Reunion) on February 16, 1808, is a French engineer-cartographer. Having joined the army in 1756, was wounded Road in August 1762 in the Battle of Johannesberg. Appointed instructor – geographer in the Malvinas, he embarked on the Eagle on October 6, 1764 and was promoted to lieutenant in November. Upon his arrival in the Falklands, he developed a plan for a new colony named “Ville Dubuc”, and remained on the islands until the end of April 1767, when he embarked on the Boudeuse bound for Rio de Janeiro. The Spaniards having offered him a post, with the rank of captain, he refused, preferring to join, as a cartographer and draftsman, the flute the Etoile in his first trip around the world undertaken by French. During this trip, Routier proved, as evidenced by the plates inserted in the travel around the world of Bougainville, both draftsman and cartographer, drawing a number of cards and some “Charming sketches”, many of which are lost. After leaving the expedition at the Isle of France, he remained there until the end of 1769, before being appointed to the Pondicherry Regiment. Returning to the Isle of France in 1772, he was sent to take possession of Seychelles. Despite the role given to Charles Brayer du Barréin the founding of the colony, it is he who really creates the colony, officially founding a village in 1778, under the name of the establishment of the King, regrouping, besides his residence, a medical center, a prison, a shop, a residential building. In August 1779 he was promoted to captain and in May, 1781, chief engineer on the Isle of Bourbon. In late 1781, he resigned and details of the rest of his career are rare.
The three wings represent the origins of the Seychellois people, who can best be described as a happy blend of the ethnic groups of three continents: Africa, Europe, and Asia. Indeed, one of charming characteristics of our Creole identity comes from our mixed harmony European, Asian and African ancestry. The population of our archipelago is a cosmopolitan brew of many races, as a result of the interbreeding among descendants of different ethnic groups.
Conceived and created by the Italian artist Lorenzo Appiani (1939-1995) these seemingly enigmatic shapes made of conglomerate gravel in a mortar matrix re-inforced with steel. Workers of the Laxmanbhai construction firm assisted in their construction and installation. It’s albeit remote resemblance to avian wings has earned it the name moniman twa lezel (three-winged monument) among many locals. If indeed they do like birds then they must represent our beloved white-tailed tropical bird (Payanke).
Appiani who quipped at the inauguration ceremony, “Birds were in-fact the first visitors to Seychelles”!