Namibian rhino to be sculpted

A life-sized statue of a rhino is to be auctioned to raise funds for anti-poaching operations.

25 July 2017 | Art and Entertainment

ELLANIE SMIT



A life-sized rhino made from Namibian marble and sculpted by a world-renowned artist will soon be auctioned off to the highest bidder in an effort to raise funds for anti-poaching activities.

The rhino sculpture will be sold at the annual fundraising auction and gala dinner of the Hunters United Against Poaching (HUAP) which will take place on 31 August to raise funds to combat poaching in Namibia.

The director of wildlife and parks, Colgar Sikopo, launched the fundraising auction and gala that kicks off with the sculpting of the rhino on behalf of the tourism minister, Pohamba Shifeta.

According to Shifeta, Namibia has over the past few years experienced high levels of poaching.

He said the level at which poaching is escalating is a serious concern for Namibia and in particular the ministry and therefore calls for immediate action.

He further expressed his gratitude to the French sculptor, Gé Pellini, who is supporting Namibia’s fight against poaching

“Pellini will sculpt a life-sized rhino from a block of exquisite Karibib marble. This noble gesture will go a long way in contributing to rhino conservation in Namibia.”

He further said it gives renewed hope to see anti-poaching efforts that are being supported across the society.

“It is a clear testimony that Namibians have had enough of people plundering the resources that are meant to benefit all the citizens of our beloved land.”

Shifeta said that he is convinced that if this is carried forward, and more sectors in society join hands with government in the fight against poaching, the war will u

ltimately be won.

He said poaching efforts are hampered by a number of factors and one of them is a lack of financial resources, making this event crucial for conservation and wildlife protection.

“The fight against poaching is not for government and should not be fought by government only; this fight is for the people of this nation and should be fought from all fronts by the people of this country.”

Artist Pellini said that the idea to do one big project for the protection of rhino started about two years ago.

“Slowly and step-by-step connections were built with stakeholders in Namibia and my dream started to come true.”

According to Pellini, Namibia is an ideal place to do this project due to great strides the government has made in anti-poaching activities.

His design for the rhino sculpture placed the emphasis on the horn of the rhino. “The horns are very large and it will be used as a symbol to discourage poaching.”

After the sculpture is completed, a three-metre aluminium horn will be placed on it on 24 August. The horn has been donated and Pellini is also sculpting the rhino free of charge.

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