Coen Welsh | Aug 9, 2017 | 0
Chipping away at a block of marble until a rhino is liberated from its edifice
French sculptor Gé Pellini and his wife, Arielle arrived in Namibia last week Friday to receive a massive block of marble which they must turn into a stylised, almost life-size stone rhinoceros before the end of August.
The marble rhino is the anchor item in an international auction by the Hunters United Against Poaching (HUAP) trust, to raise funds for the protection of Namibia’s indigenous rhino and elephant populations.
The project officially started this Monday 24 July 2017 at the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre in Windhoek. The sculpting quarters are open to the public every day. The auction will conclude at a formal dinner on 31 August 2017.
The large block of stone was donated by Mark Hoffmann and the intricate offloading expertly handled by Jörg Guttzeit and his team from Windhoek Hire Sales and Service.
President of the Namibian Professional Hunting Association, Ms Danene van der Westhuyzen, said the HUAP project germinated in the minds of a group of concerned professional hunters about two years ago.
“This trust was set in motion because of hunters who operate in the Zambezi region and who are witnesses and have first-hand experiences to the onslaught of what we treasure so very dearly, our Namibian wildlife. These horrendous activities drove them to absolute dedication in protection of our Namibian treasures with one vision in mind; to save our Namibian Wildlife” she said emphasising the contribution by Jürgen Rumpf to get the trust started.
Attending the launch on behalf of his ministry, Mr Colgar Sikopo, the Director of Parks and Wildlife, conveyed their support for the HUAP trust, saying that poaching will not be stopped unless there is concerted combined effort by the ministry and conservationists.
The music for the launch came from popular singer Elemotho, a committed supporter of the work of the Save the Rhino Trust.