Wallace & Ali Statue Launch POSTED ON September 3, 2019 BY Clarisse Tan After months of hard work and preparation, last Friday we officially unveiled the latest addition to our museum! A statue of British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace and Ali, his trusted assistant, now stands in front of our museum. Crafted by students from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, the statue celebrates Wallace and Ali’s explorations in the Malay Archipelago, of which Singapore is a part of. Wallace’s discoveries in the region, with Ali by his side, contributed greatly to the development of the theory of evolution. In his autobiography, he described Ali as “the faithful companion of almost all my journeyings among the islands of the far East”. Some historians believe that many of Wallace’s specimens, which were instrumental to the development of his ideas on evolution, were in fact collected by Ali. Our Guest of Honour for the statue launch was Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security, Teo Chee Hean. After giving a short speech, Senior Minister Teo unveiled the statue with NUS President Prof. Tan Eng Chye. He was also given a token of appreciation—a framed 18K gold-plated commemorative coin engraved with a portrait of Wallace and Ali. Senior Minister Teo, NUS senior management, donors, and distinguished guests were then given a tour around our gallery by the head of the museum, Prof. Peter Ng. They had a look at our new Wallace exhibit, which tracks his travels around the Malay Archipelago, as well as our Bicentennial exhibition, ‘200: a natural history’. Our outreach and education team also gave complimentary group guided tours for the rest of the guests. It was an honour to have all our guests, including members of the public, grace the launch of our Wallace & Ali statue. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who played a part in making the launch a success.