Friday, 25 April 2014

Elephant's works on display at Prague gallery

ČTK |
13 June 2012

Prague, June 12 (CTK) - The proceeds from the sale exhibition of paintings by Shanti, the Prague zoo's "talented" female elephant, will go to finance new equipment for the elephant zoo in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka, Prague zoo director Miroslav Bobek said at the exhibition's ceremonial opening yesterday.

Shanti (Peaceful) was born in India in 1976. One year later she starred in a Czechoslovak film for children, after which she was bought by the Prague zoo.

"Shanti's soul has always been a soul of an artist, therefore it occurred to us to enable her to create also in other branches of art. Some two years ago, we gave her an opportunity to try painting. The result was beyond our expectation," Bobek said.

The zoo's elephant keeper, Veronika Struplova, described how she taught Shanti to handle a brush, a canvas and paints.

Bobek said animals are taught painting within the projects aimed to "enrich" their lives. Unlike in Central Europe, elephants' painting in the USA is quite common, Bobek said, referring to world-famous elephant artist Ruby, from the Phoenix zoo, and elephants in southeast Asia "educated" by Russian-American artists Vitali Komar and Alexandr Melamid.

The proceeds from the sale of Shanti's paintings will go to the purchase of an ultrason device for the elephant zoo in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka, that will facilitate the checkups of elephants and also distinguish elephant pregnancy.

The Prague exhibition in the Marthi Gallery runs through August 31.

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