Twycross zoo celebrates arrival of nine metre-long lions
VISITORS to Twycross Zoo will be greeted by three magnificent nine-metre long lion sculptures as part of an art project to mark the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
Yesterday the zoo welcomed the arrival of the giant hand-crocheted lions which were created by Leicester artist Shauna Richardson.
The Lionheart Project celebrates the textile heritage of the East Midlands, and took two years to create, using 36 miles of Swaledale wool from the Derbyshire Dales to create an interpretation of the three golden lions on Richard the Lionheart's coat of arms, a strong symbol of England.âÂÂ¨
Twycross CEO Suzanne Boardman said: "People can come and view the lions here at the zoo for free, and have a coffee. It's an absolute one off. We hope to have a lot more exhibitions now, particularly for local artists."We believe that art and nature are very closely linked, so we think people get a closer connection with nature by experiencing art."
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The lions have been on tour over the summer and travelled from the Natural History Museum in London in a custom-built 16-metre long illuminated glass case to begin their three-month stint at the zoo.
Richardson is known for her realistic crochet animal creations, a body of work she calls 'Crochetdermy'.
The lions are on show outside Himalaya, the zoo's free to enter restaurant overlooking the Snow Leopard enclosure.
A crochet club is also being organised at Twycross for anyone inspired to have a go themselves. Details will be released shortly.