The Last Three, the world’s largest rhino sculpture, was unveiled at Astor Place this morning, launching a global campaign to raise critical awareness about rhino conservation, spearheaded by the sculpture’s creators and internationally acclaimed artists, Gillie & Marc.
The stunning monumental bronze sculpture of the world’s last three northern white rhinos depicting Sudan, Najim and Fatu, has been created to raise awareness of the rhino horn trades devastating impact, driving to extinction a species, which has roamed the planet for over one million years.
Village Alliance President, Martin Dresner, hosted this morning’s unveiling ceremony, which included remarks by key project partners including Wendy Feuer, New York City Department of Transportation’s Assistant Commissioner of Urban Design + Art + Wayfinding, the sculptures creators, Gillie & Marc Schattner, Leigh Barnes, Director of North America for Intrepid Travel, and Julianna Borzsei from Inde, creators of the Goodbye Rhinos augmented reality app.
The husband-and-wife artistic duo, Gillie and Marc have designed their iconic sculpture to enable the city’s population to get close to the rhinos; to touch them; to experience their gentle personalities and appreciate their remarkable presence while they are still with us.
The artists intend for these experiences to inspire, educate, and mobilize the global community to raise their voices and affect real change against rhino horn sales. Everyone is invited to get up close and say their goodbyes to Sudan, Najim and Fatu.
The Goodbye Rhinos campaign, anchored by The Last Three, also aims to collect one million signatures and goodbye messages, putting them towards a petition to encourage world governments to take real action in eliminating the demand for rhino horns. The rhino horn trade is built on a false belief in their medicinal benefits. Rhino horns are worth more than gold and poaching has condemned the northern white rhinos to the brink of extinction.
Visitors to the sculpture can also enjoy a unique interactive experience with the Goodbye Rhinos app, an augmented reality platform on which users can watch live rhinos roaming Astor Place, take and share unique rhino photos using the hashtag #goodbyerhinos and leave a goodbye message.
The Last Three sculpture will be at Astor Place until May, 2018. For more information, visit the Goodbye Rhinos website.
The Last Three has been made possible through a partnership led the Village Alliance, with NYC DOT Art, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nat Geo WILD, INDE, Intrepid Travel, and The Thomas Collective.
Photos by Thomas Hoebbel Photo~Video