Save The Landing Brave Sculpture at Charles Towne Landing

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Charles Towne Landing has plans to remove their wooden Indian sculpture from the park- which will destroy it.

To honor Native Americans,  Peter Toth carved a sculpture called the Landing Brave for Charles Towne Landing. The park approved the sculpture and it was dedicated in 1977.  He donated his time and resources so that visitors would recognize the Native American contribution to our historical fabric. The plaque reads: "A memorial to a proud and noble people-the American Indian, so they will not be forgotten, but remembered in our minds and hearts."  The carving depicts the head of an Indian brave wearing a multi-feathered headdress with his hair in two braids. The magnificent sculpture was carved from a 500 year old old oak tree and measures 24 feet tall. It is included in the Smithsonian American Art inventories catalog.  For 40 years, The Landing Brave has not only served as a tribute to Native Americans but it has also been a backdrop to countless family photos of visiting travelers from all over the world!

According to the park's director of corporate communications the ridiculous reason for the Indian sculpture removal is because it is <quote> "not historically accurate to Charles Towne Landing."  She stated the sculpture <quote> "does not depict any of the cultures that were in South Carolina at the time."  According to the Landing Brave creator, Peter Toth, the sculpture is intended to pay tribute to the Native American culture by highlighting the significance of the regional tribes in South Carolina.

 This communications director also said the sculpture is a safety issue. When asked directly if anyone had been injured from the sculpture she said removing it is a preventative measure. Here's why that doesn't make sense:  If the park truly felt it was a safety issue, they would have installed a safety barrier or signs around the sculpture.  In 2005 the Landing Brave sculpture was restored by the artist. At this time, Mr. Toth installed a steel beam and rods inside of the hollowed out tree and bolted the sculpture to a cement block so as to further preserve it. It was also treated for termites. Mr. Toth removed one wooden feather from the back of the sculpture to install the steel beam & rods. He did not replace the feather so as to allow air flow inside the statue to prevent the wood from decaying, in addition to other wood treatment. This air flow opening is located at the back of the sculpture. Mr. Toth believes the sculpture is in very good condition and requires minimal preservation.  He says the sculpture should last 100+ years with minimal care.  I observed the sculpture in person and it appears there are no signs of rot.  What is very clear is that the park has no interest in preserving or providing basic maintenance to the sculpture.  The park installed a new walkway which runs on the backside of the sculpture so visitors cannot see the front of the carving from the walkway. The park intentionally planted a tree next to it and the branches are now encroaching upon the brave's headdress. The park has not provided basic care because currently, there is one feather from the headdress that is tilted to the side. Mr. Toth says this is a matter of using a ladder and screws to repair.

 SC state parks director Phil Gaines says he wants to remove the Landing Brave to "assess" it.   The sculptor says it does not need to be removed to do that and the process of removing the sculpture will destroy it. The sculptor is willing to provide expert guidance regarding the minimal maintenance that may be required now. Phil Gaines stated he has not contacted Peter Toth, the sculptor.   According to Mr. Toth, the Landing Brave sculpture has a long life left if the sculpture is simply maintained.

The Native Americans have always held a deep respect for the land and to take only what was needed, and to thank every plant, animal, or thing that was used. They were conservationists and ecologists long before this became popular.   Charles Towne Landing now has an opportunity to follow the examples set forth by the Native American people by keeping & preserving this historically relevant sculpture.

 Your help is absolutely necessary to save the Landing Brave sculpture! Your voices must be heard to demand it stays in the park for future visitors to enjoy! Here's how you can help:

1.) Please sign the petition!

2.) Call or email the director of the state park service: Phil Gaines: pgaines@scprt.com
803-734-0345

3.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing YELP page: https://www.yelp.com/biz/charles-towne-landing-state-historic-site-charleston

4.) Post on the Charles Towne Landing Trip Advisor page: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g54171-d144262-Reviews-Charles_Towne_Landing_State_Historic_Site-Charleston_South_Carolina.html

 5.) Visit the park office at Charles Towne Landing or call to demand the Landing Brave stay in the park! They are located at 1500 Old Towne Rd, Charleston, SC 29407
PHONE: (843) 852-4200

PARK MANAGER: ROB POWELL

ASSISTANT PARK MANAGER: JASON ROBINETT

6.) Contact your media or lawmaker friends and request their help in raising awareness and protecting the Landing Brave .

#savethebrave 



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