The Ark of Return is a multifaceted white marble monument that has a motif of triangles and contains a sculpture of an African man at its center, which houses a waterfall representing the tears of the 15 million men, women and children who were sent across the Atlantic as slaves. The monument was formally inaugurated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Sam Kutesa. "I hope descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade will feel empowered as they remember those who overcame this brutal system and passed their rich cultural heritage from Africa on to their children," said Ban. Leon, himself a descendant of slaves taken from Africa to Haiti, was quoted as saying, "It makes me feel extremely proud that I can play a role and a part in the commemoration of such an important and historic day."
United Nations memorial unveiled
March 30, 2015
NEW YORK, NY -- The Ark of Return, a permanent Memorial at the United Nations (UN) designed by Architect Rodney Leon and supplied by ABC Stone, was unveiled on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Leon was chosen as the winner of an international competition initiated by the Secretary General of the UN to build a monument to acknowledge the tragedy of the triangular slave trade and honor its victims. Leon's design was selected from a pool of 310 architects, artists and visionaries, and was realized using Vermont Danby marble and Zimbabwe Black granite.