Shared elephants

I knew that painted elephants had been placed across London, but only when my friends Philip and Geli came over to dinner, did I realise the effects. Geli has been to see 125 of the 250 model elephants dotted around the capital. On Sunday, my brother Bob came for lunch and he too plans to visit them all.

It is all to raise money for charity, and to campaign for the survival of the Asian elephant, but is also in the best traditions of public art.

The ‘cow parade’ started in Zurich and spread to Chicago and many other cities now around the world. It was cows not elephants in Bath, when I visited there last year.

Perhaps Anthony Gormley’s statues on the skyline in London and New York echo the same sense of fun – that our landscape can be not just a shared sight but a shared conversation.

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