Monday, October 15, 2007

Trunk-ated lorry

During our daily rush-hour journeys into work, most of us have to be content with a view of the car in front. But those unlucky enough to be stuck in traffic on the M25 motorway were treated to a rare sight of an African bull elephant standing on the back of a lorry.

At first glance, the elephant appears real enough. However, on closer inspection, the huge beast looming above the traffic is in fact a life-size sculpture by artist Mark Coreth.

It took the 50-year-old sculptor seven weeks build the elephant out of chicken wire and polystyrene on the patio of his garden in Hatch End, Wiltshire. The 15ft artwork was then transported to Braintree in Essex where it has taken workers 10 months to cast it in bronze.

On Wednesday, it made its final journey in the UK to Southampton docks where it will be carefully loaded onto a ship bound for Sydney, Australia, where a collector has already paid £300,000 for it.

Mr Coreth has also produced another elephant to the same scale for an art-lover from Italy.

"It's the first bronze life-size sculpture I've made and it's a bit sad to see it go because I've become quite attached to it," he said. "I think we gave a lot of drivers something different to look at on their journeys. It's not something that's easy to transport and it takes a lot of skill to load and unload it as it now weighs around six tonnes."

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