The auction of Bristol Zoo’s Wow! Gorillas sculptures has raised £427,300 for charity.
It was a full house at the Victoria Rooms in Clifton tonight (Thursday) as over 550 people filled the auditorium to place their bids and watch the drama unfold.
The sculpture entitled ‘Gorizambard’ proved to be the most popular, fetching the highest amount of the evening at £23,000.
Wow! Gorillas ‘Still Life: Alfred’ and ‘Elvis’ also proved popular with bidders, fetching £12,000 and £10,200 respectively.
Olympic swimmer Sharron Davies MBE showed her generosity when she successfully bid £7,500 for ‘Distinctly Different’.
The amount raised reflects the popularity of Wow! Gorillas, which saw 61 life-size silverback gorilla sculptures placed around Greater Bristol and beyond this summer.
Director of Bristol Zoo, Dr Bryan Carroll, is thrilled with the success of the auction. He said: “We never could have predicted how successful Wow! Gorillas has been and the total raised at the auction has further demonstrated that; we are absolutely delighted and thankful for everyone’s generosity.
“Wow! Gorillas has been a fantastic way to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th birthday this year as well as being a great way to raise funds for two very important causes - our conservation projects for critically endangered gorillas here and in Cameroon, as well as Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal which is raising funds for the cardiology unit at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”
Nicola Masters, Director of the Grand Appeal, added: “We are absolutely thrilled with the fantastic amount that has been raised at auction this evening. We are so thankful to Bristol Zoo for choosing to work with us on this project which has been enjoyed by so many people over the summer. The money raised tonight will have a huge impact on our Cardiology Appeal.”
Auctioneer Andrew Morgan said the Wow! Gorillas are a lasting work of art and memento of Bristol Zoo’s milestone year. “These wonderful gorillas have been a spectacular success and I was delighted and honored to be asked to auction them,” he said. The lucky bidders who bought a Wow! Gorilla will, not only be directly supporting two excellent charities, but will be acquiring a lasting and valuable work of art.”
The 101 small gorillas which have also appeared around the city this summer will be returned to the schools and nurseries which sponsored and decorated them.
Bristol Zoo is also holding a raffle offering the chance to win limited edition Wow! Gorillas prizes. First prize is an unpainted, small gorilla, the same size as the schools’ gorillas.
Second prize is a small piece of a Formula One Marussia Virgin racing car engine in a presentation display box. Earlier this summer the Wow! Gorillas logo featured on the nosecone of the Marussia Virgin Racing Formula One team car at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Third prize is a limited edition, small ceramic Wow! Gorilla, painted in the style of one of the 61 Wow! Gorilla designs.
Raffle tickets cost £1 each, available from Bristol Zoo until Friday, October 28, when the winners will be drawn. Tickets are also available online at www.bristolzoo.org.uk/win-a-wow-gorilla
Wow! Gorillas has been created by Bristol Zoo Gardens in partnership with Bristol City Council and Wild in Art which promotes art through the use of unique animal sculptures as three dimensional artist’s canvas.
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