A Tale of Two Statues

This weekend I visited two statues in the District I’ve been meaning to see for a long time now.  Sometimes it takes an out-of-town visitor to make it happen, and luckily I had a great one – my friend and former co-worker Heather, who was visiting from Johannesburg.

There she’s known better as 2Summers, which is a fantastic blog about life in South Africa – but particularly about the under-appreciated city of Johannesburg. She calls herself a destination advocate, which is how I feel about D.C.

One of our destinations on this trip was Meridian Hill Park (also known as Malcolm X), for a photography session with some of the park’s eclectic statues. The one she was particularly interested in learning more about is almost hidden in the northwest part of the park, and is called Serenity.

It looks like a weathered, marble Greek goddess from antiquity, but it turns out she’s much younger – only the years have not been kind to her. And neither have Washingtonians.

2Summers communing with the Serenity statue in Meridian Hill Park.
2Summers communes with the Serenity statue in Meridian Hill Park. (Photo: Historic District)

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Jeanne D’arC

Today, Joan of Arc turned 600 years old. Or she would have, if she hadn’t been burned at the stake at the tender age of 19.

What do you get the warrior maiden who has everything? In the District, you get that girl a sword.

Jeanne D'Arc statue, Meridian Hill Park
Jeanne D’Arc, leading the charge.

That’s what the Jeanne d’Arc statue in Meridian Hill Park received at the end of last year in anticipation of her sixth centennial.

Her sword went missing several years ago, but the Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association successfully lobbied the National Park Service for a replacement, arriving in time for the big birthday.

The statue might seem an odd choice for Washington, D.C., but it represents yet another tie between France and America in the nation’s capital.

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