Norwich Go Go Gorillas 'life-size' art-trail revealed

Go Go Gorillas A trail of 53 full-size gorillas, modelled on a western lowland gorilla, can be seen at locations throughout Norwich city centre until the end of 7 September
Go Go Gorillas at Norwich Odeon The project, featuring more than 100 gorillas in total, was launched with an homage to the 1933 classic King Kong starring Fay Wray and Bruce Cabot
Artist paints Go Go Gorilla Professional artists and schools throughout Norfolk have painted the "gorilla canvasses", which will eventually be sold at a charity auction
Iron Man Go Go Gorilla in Norwich The gorillas, each weighing about half a tonne, were installed throughout Norwich city centre in the early hours of Sunday
Go Go Gorillas arrive at Norwich station Money raised from the charity auction will go towards the Norfolk Break charity and the Born Free Foundation to help eastern lowland gorilla conservation projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo

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More than 50 life-sized gorillas have been installed around Norwich to create a conservation art trail throughout the city centre.

Organised by Norfolk charity Break, which cares for vulnerable people, the Go Go Gorillas have been produced by local artists over the past 12 months.

Commuters tweeted on Monday the gorilla trail "looked amazing" and made "the walk to work 100% better".

The trail runs for 10 weeks before the artwork is auctioned for charity.

Martin Green, fundraising officer at Break, said: "The trail will encourage thousands of people to discover and rediscover the fine city of Norwich.

"The event itself is about raising money for charity, inspiring visitors, highlighting environmental issues and showcasing the plight of one of the world's most endangered species."

Western gorillas

Lowland gorilla
  • Western gorillas are smaller and lighter than their eastern cousins which allows them to be agile climber
  • There are two subspecies of western gorilla: the widespread lowland gorilla and the rarer cross river gorilla
  • Gorilla numbers have plummeted in recent years, mainly through habitat loss, although between 1992 and 2007 the deadly ebola virus killed one third of the entire population

Based on a western lowland gorilla, each sculpture stands about 5ft (1.5m) tall and weighs about half a tonne.

A number of teams, using fork-lift trucks, took four hours to install the 53 gorillas in the early hours of Sunday.

Mr Green said: "It was an amazing morning; when people woke up today it would have been a bit of a surprise."

An additional 67 "baby gorillas" will be added to the trail, going on display in shops around the city from Friday.

The trail includes sculptures inspired by Norwich City Football Club, singer Freddie Mercury, Norwich sports presenter Jake Humphrey and champion cyclist Bradley Wiggins.

Organisers hope the project will build on the success of Norwich's Go Elephant trail in 2008 which raised more than £200,000 for CLIC Sargent charities and the Born Free Foundation.

Nick Bond, head of Tourism VisitNorwich, said: "During the Elephant trail in 2008 more than half of visitors surveyed said they had come specifically to see the elephants - most of them went shopping in the city too and nearly all of them said they'd come again.

"Norwich's new gorillas are at large on the streets and they're even more eye-catching and have even bigger personalities."

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