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Gabonese and Nigerian Woodcarvers decorated the Zoo Zlín with African statues

Summer visitors of the Zoo and Chateau Zlín-Lešná could once again admire the art of African carvers. Within two months, artists from Niger, for the sixth time already, and for the second time also artists from Gabon created ten unique statues in a large meadow near the giraffe pavilion. The first sculptures already placed in the zoological garden include three few-meters tall giraffes and hippo with a cub. The symposium of African woodcarvers takes place in the Zlín Zoo thanks to the help and support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Abuja.

“Every year I look forward to seeing how African artists surprise us. Even before their arrival, we agree on what the statues of oak trunks will look like, but the final form is only up to their imagination and emotion. Hama Boubacar from Niger, together with his colleagues from the Museum in Niamey, have created more than thirty large statues for us, but each of them is absolutely original and unique,” said the Zoo director Roman Horský. Within the framework of two years of our cooperation, Gabonese woodcarvers have made twelve statues, which fascinate visitors with their perfection, including fine details. “Jean de Dieu Mayombo and Joseph Landry Moubele Bingoulou are a great team. Their sculptures are truly works of art and both of them are among the most respected and well-known Gabonese artists. I cannot wait to see their sculptures of traditional African masks, African characters, or a crocodile-shaped rest bench placed in the garden. Visitors can see them on the meadow already, but in my opinion, their beauty stands out right in the garden. Jean and Joseph themselves helped us to find the best places for sculptures,” added Horský.

The symposium of African woodcarvers is also planned for the next year. “The sculptures are not only unique complement of the African area of the zoo; the art of woodcarvers is also very popular with the visitors themselves. Groups of people regularly stand in the meadow and watch them during the work. Some visitors are even planning a summer visit to meet African artists. However, ensuring the arrival of African woodcarvers, their stay and two-month activity is more and more difficult every year. Without the support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Abuja, this would not have been possible. They are doing a great job and I would like to thank the Ambassador, Mr. Marek Skolil, former Consul Mr. Tomáš Výprachtický and all the remaining employees of the Czech Embassy for their great help and willingness. We really appreciate it, “stressed Roman Horský.

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Gabonští a Nigerští řezbáři v ZOO Zlín