Statue honoring trio of rare rhinos coming to NYC
Get on the horn and tell your friends: Three of the world’s rarest rhinos are coming to the East Village this week.
Astor Place will become home to “The Last Three,” a 17-foot-high bronze statue commemorating the planet’s trio of remaining Northern White Rhinos.
The installation across from the iconic Astor Place Cube, is scheduled for Tuesday. The unveiling takes place Thursday.
The life-size sculpture, which weighs nearly seven tons, features the so-called final family: Sudan, 45; his daughter, Najin, 27, and granddaughter Fatu, 11, stacked on top of each other.
The future of the species is grim. Sudan has a low sperm count and the females are infertile.
The three white rhinos are living out their days at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, where they are protected around-the-clock by armed guards. Sudan, according to reports, is currently battling an infected leg that raised concerns over the past week he might have to be put down.
The $200,000 artwork, which aims to promote wildlife preservation, is the creation of Australian husband-and-wife team Gillie and Marc Schattner.
Last year, the Schattners traveled to Kenya and said the experience “shook them to the core.” The artists returned home vowing to dedicate the rest of their lives to protecting rhinos from extinction.
The sculpture of “The Last Three” was intricately engineered so that it could travel as three separate pieces to be assembled at the East Village site. The statue of Sudan, including the large base, weighs 4 ¹/₂ tons. Najin, who lies upside down on Sudan’s back, and Fatu, on top, each weigh 1.2 tons.
Najin and Fatu were loaded in one 40-foot container and Sudan in a separate 20-foot container.
The three rhinos arrived in New York last week following a month-long sea trip from the artists’ foundry in Thailand.