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Pirate monuments

Monuments of pirates? Of piracy? Some time ago, I came across a photo of a pirate’s statue. I began to wonder, are there other ones in the world? How many? Where? Not just sculptures / artworks / decorations / whatever, but monuments. Memorials. And not memorials of wars against piracy, like the Tripoli Monument in Annapolis, but memorials commemorating pirates themselves. On the first thought, it can seem strange, to praise the memory of criminals, but the thing is that it often turns out to be a complicated problem: was this particular fellow a criminal or not? And if so, how much? And if so, and if very much, had he been plundering us or our enemies? And, last but not least, even if so, and even if very much, and even if he’d been plundering us, had he been doing it with style? ;)
If to count just anyone who was called a pirate once, the list would be never-ending. So I decided to take into account only fellows who were more often called pirates than not, in general agreement, regardless of the speaker’s nationality. A death on a scaffold would be a fine certificate. And privateers don’t count, especially privateers who earned admiralcy, a royally-granted estate, and a death of old age in bed. Leaders running what resembled more a regular war than dishonest, self-seeking sacking & pillaging don’t count too. And I can’t count piracy being just a national job and way of life, or all this entry will be seized by Vikings… And being scowled at by those-days-enemies, and loads of earrings, and the general naval badassery is not enough too, so don’t push in, Sir Drake, savvy?
So, let’s see what remained. Who remained. Whatever.
You’ll find the sources of photos here.

So far, I knew only one such monument, that is Klaus Störtebeker’s one in Hamburg, showing the pirate just before the execution…

…but you can meet him also in Marienhafe and Verden an der Aller.

But there’s a lot more of pirate memorials.
Bartholomew Roberts aka Black Bart’s memorial is in Little Newcastle, in Wales.

Roberto Cofresí’s monument is in Cabo Rojo on Puerto Rico.

There’s a simple memorial in Charleston, South Carolina, marking the site of the hanging of Stede Bonnet and Richard Worley, and their crews.

Stede Bonnet’s memorial is also in Southport, North Carolina.

Grace O’Malley guards her old land in Westport, Ireland.

Jean Lafitte has a whole national park named after him, in Louisiana! And a memorial in Dzilam de Bravo, Mexico.

José Gaspar, mythical or not, got not only a monument in Tampa, but also his own festival.

There’s an obelisk with the inscription ‘Ibiza a sus corsarios’ on this island, commemorating the pirates living there, and the most often info you can get about it is: “That’s unique thing, the one and only memorial of this sort in the world!” As you can see, this entry proves the contrary…

Looks like leading a national uprising was Stenka Razin’s not exactly the first and foremost desire, but rather a work accident, so we can assume he fits this company. And he has quite a collection of memorials. Left to right: Rostov-on-Don, Srednyaya Akhtuba, and below: Don River near to Tsimlyansk, Pugachevskaya (collective monument of Razin, Yemelyan Pugachev, and Vasily Generalov).

I have not enough info, but it seems there’s a thing called ‘Dr. Gonzalo R. Montemayor (???) Wharf Memorial’, in Lucap, (Alaminos, Philippines), with a statue of Limahong inside.

A nameless pirate tasked with the mission of reminding of the Caribbean heritage is in Mexico, on the coast of Cozumel. And, reportedly, he turned out bloodthirsty beyond the mission’s need? Not that he did anything apart from just standing there…

There’s also a pirate statue in Dillon Beach, California, and since a few dozens of miles down the shore there’s also a bay called Pirates Cove with, reportedly, properly pirate heritage, then one can assume that the statue was intended as a memorial too? Alas, only info I can get says: “the plaque’s missing”.

I suppose there’s more such monuments. Can you add something to this list? :)



( 21 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 5th, 2012 08:23 pm (UTC)
Hehe! This is brilliant and fascinating! The only one of these monuments I previously knew of was Black Bart's at Little Newcastle. I'm afraid I can't add any more to your list but I enjoyed seeing the ones you've discovered!

PS I still think Drake was an out and out pirate though ;P
Aug. 5th, 2012 10:06 pm (UTC)
And his statues would make another entry of this size. And then I'd have a long line of very colorful and very grim guys at my doors, each one asking 'OK, and what about me, eh?' ;D Maybe I should consider making another list, with privateers... Jean Bart looks so pretty in Dunkirk, ehh...
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:01 pm (UTC)
Maybe I should consider making another list, with privateers... Jean Bart looks so pretty in Dunkirk, ehh...

Ooh yes! And when you do, can I nominate this beautiful picture of Robert Surcouf's statue in Saint Malo? :)
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:12 pm (UTC)
As far as I know, it would have to be half of Saint Malo! AaaaAAa, help! But this is the best photo of this statue I've seen so far. It's so tempting, maybe I should do it indeed! :D
Aug. 9th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
He looks very pretty up there on his plinth doesn't he?! :)

It's so tempting, maybe I should do it indeed! :D
Dooo eeeet....Doooo eeeet! *g*
Aug. 9th, 2012 06:48 pm (UTC)
*tears eyes off the sunset* Huh, plinth? Oh, plinth! Right, pretty, absolutely, of course. XD

OK, OK, we'll see! :D Internet will kill me someday, I swear...
Aug. 9th, 2012 08:29 pm (UTC)
Internet will kill me someday, I swear...
'Course it will. But you'll die happy XD
Aug. 9th, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
That's the argument, indeed... *g*
Aug. 6th, 2012 12:17 am (UTC)
Very cool stuff this! Thank you for sharing it with us.
Aug. 6th, 2012 12:37 am (UTC)
My pleasure in sharing. :)
Aug. 6th, 2012 10:41 am (UTC)
Fascinating! Once you'd told us who wouldn't qualify I wondered if there'd be any pirates left who'd been found worthy of commemorative statues or memorials - but you found plenty! Thanks for such an interesting post!
Aug. 6th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
First I began to collect just everyone, but the list were growing and growing, so I decided there must be some selection, instead I'd have to include almost everyone once involved in battles on water. Finally I left only pirates in the most strict meaning, that is maritime / water criminals. Even if this aspect of their activity not always was the main reason for they got these memorials, as in the case of Stenka Razin (who is a national hero now), or Limahong (whose crewmembers, as far as I know, were among the ancestors of the current population of Alaminos), or Ibiza's monument (where pirates, reportedly, were more defenders of the island, than aggressors).

I'm very glad it turned out interesting not only for me!
Aug. 6th, 2012 06:26 pm (UTC)
This is SO fascinating!! Thank you for such an awesome post! Research is my second enemy after math so I couldn't put together something like that for the life of me lol This is so very interesting. And I loved the paragraph at the beginning. It was just written in such a wonderful way that made me want to read more & more about the subject.

Thank you so much for sharing! :D
Aug. 6th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
Heee! You know how to give me a grin. :D I'm always half afraid and half sure that my not-exactly-English gibberish must be terrible in reading, so thanks a lot. And research is my fun / love / obsession / whatever, so I just couldn't resist.

Thank you for coming!
Aug. 7th, 2012 03:43 pm (UTC)
Aug. 7th, 2012 04:04 pm (UTC)
...? English please?
Aug. 10th, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the entry.
I translated it to your friends (http://mercator.livejournal.com/100787.html)
Aug. 10th, 2012 10:35 pm (UTC)
Writing it, I didn't even dream about such response. I'm happy that my idea turned out so interesting for many readers. I'm honoured, thank you for your work, and thank you for letting me know!
Aug. 11th, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
In the comments to my post add to the list:
Monument to Robert Surcouf in Saint-Malo - he, of course, Corsair, and not a pirate, but piracy is on the list.

http://shraddha-om.ru/post166937975/ - pirate statue in Cartagena, Colombia...

Aug. 11th, 2012 08:53 am (UTC)
Monument to Hayreddin Barbarossa, inherited his brother's Aruj pirate fleet. Maybe this is more corsairs, but a monument to fine :)

A similar monument to Turgut Reis in Turgutreis - city, renamed in his honor...
Aug. 11th, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I hadn't include Barbarossa, Turgut Reis, and Surcouf for the reasons I explained in the introduction at the beginning of the entry, that is - they were more privateers than pirates. Actually, they had been among reasons for I had felt I should write this introduction... As for the statue in Cartagena, it's Blas de Lezo y Olavarrieta, an admiral of the Spanish Armada, though a man of very pirate appearance indeed. ;)

I'm considering making of another list, with corsairs, privateers and such, but I need some time for it. I'm afraid I have a few other projects which should be finished first. Still, thank you very much for your interest, I appreciate it! :)
( 21 comments — Leave a comment )