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Following on from the Elephant Parade two years ago, when over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants were displayed throughout London, multicoloured eggs have been appearing around the city as part of the Faberge Big Egg Hunt. Despite the apparent ‘commercialisation’ (I mean sponsorship), I was excited about the idea and longing to get my first sighting.

The problem is that the eggs simply aren’t big enough. They are not so much ‘public works of art’ (as the elephants were), but ‘works of art that happen to be displayed in public’. Maybe the criticism is unfair, and it reflects my own unrealistic expectations. But I went in expecting something as stunning and provocative and bold as the elephants.

They are about two and a half feet tall, mainly on a podium or even in a display case. Some of them lovely objects, but none quite huge enough for the full, glorious impactful ridiculousness of having gigantic coloured eggs scattered around London. How tall would they need to be, in my humble opinion?At least four feet, maybe five. Six would be getting a bit scary…

So yes, it’s a fun venture, a nice addition to London life, a pleasant distraction, and I’m sure it’s all for good cause. But it could have been so much more!

What do you think? Am I being churlish?

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A man passed me in the street this morning walking eight dogs. I think that is the most I have seen. And this is central London, not some park in the home counties.

I already posted about the elephants that have been stationed around the streets and parks of London for the last few weeks. You can now see them all in one place, a herd of over 200 life-size baby elephants painted in glorious technicolour. This is for three days only, part of the ‘viewing’ process before they are auctioned off. It’s open today (25th June), tomorrow (26th) and Monday (28th). 10am to 7pm at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. Admission is free. See the poster here.

It was extraordinary, driving down the embankment on Wednesday morning, to peer through the railings as the elephants were being put in place. And to see two of them flying through the air, a good 40 feet up, as the cranes lifted them into position. You won’t get a chance to see a sight like this very often.

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I was coming home on the bus past Green Park and saw a line of multi-coloured elephants over the fence. What a beautiful sight!

Elephant Parade is a conservation campaign that shines a multi-coloured spotlight on the urgent crisis faced by the endangered Asian elephant. Brought to you by www.elephantfamily.org, the event sees over 250 brightly painted life-size elephants located over central London this summer.

Each decorated by a different artist or celebrity, the elephants brighten and beautify the city, enhancing every park, street corner and building they grace. Running from May to July 2010, this is London’s biggest outdoor art event on record. With an estimated audience of 25 million, we aim to raise £2 million for the Asian elephant and benefit 20 UK conservation charities.

All of our elephants are for sale by auction and every bid you place is a bid for habitat. Mini elephants are available at Selfridges, 80 Regent St, 36 Carnaby St and Greenwich Central Market or at the elephant parade online shop. Happy elephant spotting!

You can see a slideshow of some of the more interesting designs here. There is a routemap here. And here are some photos:

 

 

 

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