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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington DC

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington DC

A Stone of Hope


The first memorial along the historic National Mall in the US capital dedicated to an African American. The Martin Luther King Memorial is testament to the life and work of one of the most prominent global personalities in the fight against oppression, social injustice and racial segregation. It is deliberately placed on a visual axis with two other moral leaders of the United States: Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

The sculpture of the Baptist minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner of 1964, who was assassinated four years later, rises from an enormous sand-coloured granite block and features one of his most legendary quotes from his “I have a dream” speech: “With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope!”

The monument entitled “Stone of Hope” is illuminated by BEGA floodlights with narrow beam light distribution. They light up the 10-metre-high statue by Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin to perfection, particularly the impressively lifelike facial features of Martin Luther King.

King’s eloquence and the power of his words, his messages of love and tolerance are additionally eternalised in two 70-metre long polished walls that frame the monument. 14 of King’s most famous quotes are chiselled into the stone:

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness
– only light can do that!”

Lighting Design
Randy Burkett Lighting Design, St. Louis

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