A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

miscellaneous news
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

WHITE RHINO FOR ICC (article first published : 2005-03-27)

A life-size bronze statue of a white rhino (Ceratotherium simum) travelled for two days on the back of a specially-modified vehicle in order to take up permanent residence at the entrance to the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban.

The province of KwaZulu-Natal has for decades been known as the home of the white rhino. It was in KZN game reserves that, by a combination of raw determination and innovative conservation techniques, this mighty animal was wrested back from the brink of extinction.

It was the first time in African history that such a large animal that had been so close to disappearing altogether was restored to safety. This single achievement raised the hopes and spurred on the work of other conservation bodies to have similar successes with almost the entire range of South Africa's wildlife. These successful conservation efforts have established one of the greatest wildlife industries the world has ever seen and has firmly established South Africa's global reputation as a world leader in biodiversity conservation.

This achievement was also the reason why the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) held the 5th World Parks Congress at the ICC in Durban in 2003. The choice of Durban as a venue was a tribute to both the conservation success in the province and in South Africa. The white rhino is the living symbol of that success.

The Conservation Trust, an independent fund-raising organization tasked with supporting conservation through raising funds from the private sector, undertook to raise the funds to have the statue cast in bronze so that it can be a permanent tribute from the people of South Africa to the success of the country's proud conservation record.

"There is no such commemorative icon anywhere in the country," says Dr George Hughes, former CEO of the Trust and the driving force behind the project. "The finished life-size bronze will serve as a source of pride to citizens of South Africa as well as being a drawcard for tourists and delegates to the ICC.

"The concept first arose during the preparations for the World Parks Congress in 2003, adds Dr Hughes. I thought it would be a good idea to have a permanent bronze outside the ICC. The bronze would represent what conservation has achieved in terms of promoting economic growth in South Africa and an aesthetic appreciation of our fauna and flora. It does not celebrate individuals or organizations because the effort has been so widespread and the achievements to great that no one individual can or should take credit."

R1 million was raised through public subscription and renowned sculptor Dylan Lewis created the life-size statue. On March 15 the rhino set out on its journey from the foundry in Stellenbosch to Durban for a two-day trip, passing through the towns of Paarl, Worcester, Beaufort West, Colesberg, Bloemfontein and Bethlehem before joining the N3 on its final leg to the ICC in Durban. It arrived in Durban on March 17, to a special welcoming ceremony.

The rhino is installed on a plinth with the following inscription: "The White Rhinoceros" This dramatic and powerful animal is a symbol of the contribution made to SOUTH AFRICA by BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION the endeavours of which have led to the RESTORATION OF OUR WILDLIFE HERITAGE and A MASSIVE CONTRIBUTION TO THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF SOUTH AFRICA. It also celebrates the holding of the Fifth World Parks Congress ICC Durban, September 2003. Commissioned by THE CONSERVATION TRUST".




 A current news
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
letters to the editor
home page
archives A
crafts - dance - drama - film & tv - literature
music - supper theatre - visual arts
miscellaneous news - festivals
a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart