Florentijn Hofman's first ever UK commission: HippopoThames

From the man who created the giant Rubber Duck which was seen floating down the Thames in 2012- he now brings a 21-metre-long hippo sculpture to the river today.

The first UK commission from the renowned Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman, will be towed upriver from its build site to its end position at Nine Elms on South Bank.

Florentijn Hofman created the Rubber Duck which sailed down the Thames in 2012. Credit: PA

‘HippopoThames’ is set to arrive at Riverside Gardens, at the base of St George’s Tower at around 5.30pm, where a free celebratory event will take place.

A time lapse video of the build, featuring an interview with the artist, has been uploaded to YouTube ahead of the big reveal.

Hofman is known for scaled-up sculptures, including the Rubber Duck which has been travelling to several major cities since 2007.

The artist's sculptures often originate from everyday objects, but the design of Hofman’s UK commission has been inspired by the prehistory of the River Thames, and the hippos that used to inhabit it.

Mr Hoffman said:

The giant hippo is set to follow the footsteps of the 50 ft rubber duck which appeared on the Thames. Credit: PA

The launch of 'HippopoThames' begins a 30-day programme of events in September which will include arts, music and community festivals, as well as river-linked events run by charities and voluntary organisations across the 17 London riverside boroughs.

Londoners will be offered the chance to find out about the pre-history of the Thames, and the real hippos who lived in it once upon a time, at a talk at Doodle Bar on Tuesday 9 September.

For more information visit the Totally Thames website.