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Travellers get to marvel at a whole host of weird and wonderful attractions when they explore other corners of the globe, but the sight of hundreds of papier-mâché pandas playing the part of tourist is unlikely to have been one of them.
But as farfetched as this scenario sounds this is actually the scene unfolding in the bustling city-state of Hong Kong. To highlight the plight of the panda, and create awareness of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), whose symbol happens to be a panda, French artist Paulo Grangeon has fashioned 1600 papier-mâché pandas from recycled materials. And it doesn’t end there. The globetrotting pandas are set to take a whistle stop tour of the city-state to greet residents and visitors, taking in some of Hong Kong’s most iconic spots including the Avenue of Stars, the Star Ferry and the Shatin Racecourse.
“The project is not just about pandas; it's about conservation and sustainability, which is very much what PMQ is about too,” says SK Lam, Creative Director of AllRightsReserved, the panda project's director and the man who helped to treat Hong Kong visitors to Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman’s creation of a giant floating Rubber Duck in 2013.
A press statement issued by PMQ, one of the organisers added:"Themed around pandas' state of endangerment, the army of 1,600 paper mache pandas shines a spotlight on conservation and sustainable development.”
The world-wise pandas have already been to Taiwan, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany and will stay in Hong Kong for a month. Speaking to the Associated Press Grangeon added: “You have only 1,600 panda in freedom. And I don't want in 50 years, only one-thousand….I don't want to see the last panda in the zoo." To panda’s spectacular arrival at Hong Kong airport is captured in this short YouTube video.
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Date Created: 10/06/2014