Monument to the Heroes of the Air - Atlas Obscura

Monument to the Heroes of the Air

This sculpture used famed boxer Joe Louis as the inspiration behind its body.  

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The Monument to the Heroes of the Air was built between 1930 and 1935 by sculptors Lidia Kotzebue and Iosif Fekete. 

A committee was set up in 1927 to develop the monument, they decided to run a contest for the design. Twenty designs were submitted and the Romanian public was allowed to choose the winner by secret ballot. 

The winning design used American professional boxer Joe Louis as inspiration for the aviator’s body. Louis visited Bucharest around the time of the competition. The head of the figure was based on a picture found in a catalog of famous aviators.

Three aviators shown around the base of the obelisk have no known links to famous American sportsmen, but are each shown in a different stage of flight. 

The structure stands over 60 feet tall, using Louis’ body, standing with wings outstretched.

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February 19, 2024

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