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American Couple Rebuilds Brown Pelican Statue Damaged By Hurricane Irma

PHILIPSBURG — As part of the “PJIAE Good News” campaign, we are delighted to publicize that the “Brown Pelican” trio statues will soar once again at the Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM).

During an elaborate unveiling ceremony, the sculptures were erected as beautification for the roundabout at the Airport Road in Simpson Bay in May 2014. The extravagant bronze statues which depict the national bird of the island of Sint Maarten were damaged following the destructive 2017 hurricanes, alongside the catastrophic damages caused to the award-winning airport.

With the forthcoming reconstruction taking precedence by the Management Board of PJIAE N.V., the national symbols stood tall but remained an eyesore. The Chief Operations Officer, COO, Michel Hyman divulged that the returning visitors out of Blairsville, Atlanta, Jim, and Janet Eddins have aligned with the original sculptor, Michael Maghiro to graciously restore the statues.

“Following a joint approval by the Management Board, it was disclosed that the range of repairs will be diverse, as a wide range of materials will lend to the restoration of the broken, cracked, and chipped areas. The sculptor will attach the replacement pieces, update the bronze color, whilst uplifting the original style of the statues. This is similar to what was recently done to the other statues located throughout the island. Over the years the Airport has featured various art forms of the “Brown Pelican”. Similar art was exhibited in the ceiling of the former Airport structure in the Arrival Hall (yellow building) and throughout the floorings of the current Terminal Building,” concluded the COO, Michel Hyman.

“The American couple has come to the rescue of three (3) of St. Maarten’s most beloved pelicans and has committed to funding the expense at no cost to the PJIAE N.V. I disliked seeing the statues in their dilapidated state and I’m happy to share the cost with the charitable couple,” said Michael Maghiro. Maghiro, an African-born, St. Maarten resident is known throughout the Caribbean and internationally for his art form. Equally, he has also installed many statues locally, displaying the culture of St. Maarten.

“My wife and I have been coming to Sint Maarten ‘The Friendly Island’ for over 20 years and have now purchased a local residence,” Jim Eddins said. “We’ve taken notice that no one had repaired the cast bronze pelican statues and we were made aware of the cash flow issues that the Airport and country are currently facing since hurricane Irma in 2017. It has been our outlook that each of us should give back to our community.”

The couple’s first point of contact was Claudia Arrindell of the St. Maarten Tourism Bureau who further prearranged the strategic meetings for the restoration of the masterpiece.

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