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Sculptures are seen and herd at Marble Arch

Celebrated artists provide 21 elephants

29 November, 2019 — By Tom Foot

HERE is a sneak preview of elephant sculptures set to be unveiled outside Marble Arch next week.

The 21 life-size elephants – the largest elephant herd sculpture in the world – have been created by artists Gillie and Marc Schattner and will sit by the famous London landmark for one year.

Animal rights activists Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan, author Stanley Johnson and minister Zac Goldsmith, will unveil the sculptures next week.

The works are of real life elephants that have been orphaned by poachers or drought.

In a statement, Marc Schattner said: “We choose urban environments for our sculptures, so that we can bring the animals directly to the doorstep of those who wouldn’t usually get to see and learn about them. We want people to become actively involved in overturning the status quo, helping to ensure that elephants can in fact continue to live happily and healthily in the wild for years to come.”

Gillie and Marc have been described as “the most successful and prolific public art ­creators in New York history” by the New York Times, according the artists’ website.

They have created innovative public sculptures around the world and are best known for their beloved characters Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together to become best friends and soul mates.

By 2040 there will be no elephants left living in the wild, according to organisers Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which is one of East Africa’s oldest conservation organisations.

Its director Rob Brandford said: “They embody the hope, strength and courage that’s going to be required by the elephant species in the years to come.

“The stronger we help them become, the more chance they have of defying the odds for their survival.

“We invite the good people of London and visitors to the city to meet, and fall in love with, the Elephants of Tomorrow in Marble Arch throughout 2020.”

It is part of the Westminster Council sculpture scheme that has been running for 10 years.

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