Uri Geller's spoon gorilla to be unveiled on 17 May
- 1 May 2014
- From the section England
A statue of a gorilla made from spoons for entertainer Uri Geller has been completed after cutlery was donated from across the world.
It was originally to feature 5,000 spoons, but it was soon realised eight times that amount was needed.
In January, the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry warned the gorilla was at risk due to a spoon shortage.
The centre said the response to an appeal meant it will include more spoons "than we could have dreamed of".
The final sculpture, which will eventually be displayed at Geller's home in Berkshire, is 12ft (3.6m) tall and features more than 40,000 spoons, donated from people in 23 countries - 70 spoons alone were used to create the tongue.
Prince Michael of Kent is due to officially unveil it on 17 May. Until then, the British Ironwork Centre said it had been placed under 24-hour guard.
Other than the sculptor who made it, even members of staff have been banned from seeing the piece.
Following an appeal by the British Ironwork Centre, local schools started collecting spoons, and pupils from countries including India, China and Kenya joined in.
Geller, a friend of pop star Michael Jackson, has also donated a jacket belonging to the singer to be awarded to the person who donates the most spoons.
British Ironwork Centre chairman Clive Knowles said there had been a lot of interest: "We've got a taxi driver in Kent attempting to collect the most spoons.
"We've heard of someone who wishes to literally buy 30,000 spoons, just to obtain the jacket."
Geller, who placed an order for the spoon gorilla, plans to fly the piece to his home in a net dangling from a helicopter, in the style of King Kong.
He said he commissioned the statue to put in his garden to inspire ill children, and chose a gorilla because he had become fond of one he met, which painted various pictures now displayed in Geller's home.
He added that his riverside garden in Sonning-on-Thames, Berkshire, already contained a pyramid, a spoon-covered Cadillac and more than 200 crystals arranged in the shape of the star of David.
"I am not a healer or miracle worker, but I deeply believe positive intentions, meditation, visualisation and affirmation could help a sick child and that is what I try to do," he said.
"Most kids are amazed by [my garden] and it puts a smile on their faces."
Geller achieved fame for apparently bending spoons with the power of his mind, and has published fiction and non-fiction books, presented television programmes and designed a range of jewellery.