Pearl Monument

Manama, Bahrain

Demolished 2011

The Disappointed Tourist: Pearl Monument, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

This was a powerful symbol. Anon.

The Pearl Monument was erected in 1982 on the occasion of the third summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which was hosted by Bahrain for the first time that year. The monument consisted of six dhow “sails,” representing the Council’s six member nations, holding a pearl symbolizing their united heritage and Bahrain’s history of pearl cultivation. It was located on the GCC Roundabout, known as Pearl Roundabout or Lulu Roundabout (Arabic: دوار اللؤلؤ(ة)‎) in Manama. The Pearl Roundabout was the site of demonstrations during the Bahraini uprising of 2011 which led to the Monument’s destruction by government forces as part of a crackdown on protesters. An expatriate crane operator was crushed to death during the demolition. This painting was inspired by a photograph by Frank-Udo Tielmann.