For 10 weeks next summer Norwich will play host to more than 40 gorillas. The painted primates are being decorated by artists from across the region, as part of a project that organisers hope will raise £50,000 for local charity Break.
The charity helps provide support for children, families and young people living in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire.
– Martin Green, Project manager
The aim of the event really is to bring people into Norwich, showcase what we do in Norwich, create an art trail, showcase local art and support a local charity."
Each gorilla costs £4800, with the artist receiving a fee of £800. Each statue will be sponsored by a local business such as Almary Green Investments:
– Carl Lamb, Almary Green Investments, Sponsor
As a firm, we're a very strong believer in getting involved in the local community... When we saw the gorillas coming on board and with the success of the elephants, we just wanted to participate because Break is obviously such a worthwhile charity."
Four years ago a similar trail using elephant statues raised around £250,000. But they're not the only animal statues that have graced our region. A pride of colourful lions brightened the streets of Northampton for 10 weeks during 2010. During that time local business reported an increased turnover of up to 14%.
As for next year's gorillas, organisers are hoping that they'll become a tourist attraction, as well as raise money for charity.
Along with Break, the Born Free Foundation will also benefit. The sculptures are made from resin and fibreglass, and like their namesake, are rather large:
- 5 foot head to toe
- 3 foot 9 inches shoulder to toe
- Weigh 4 - 6 stone
The gorillas will be placed across the city from June - September 2013. They'll be auctioned in the autumn with the proceeds going to charity.