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Monday, 4 November, 2002, 13:44 GMT
Dung paper fills artistic niche
elephants
Fibre from the elephant dung is used to make paper
An importer who sells paper made from elephant and rhinoceros dung says his products are making a big impression on shoppers.

Jan Cronje, 57, who runs an African art shop in Derbyshire, says the unusual paper is made in South Africa from the fibres found in the dung.

"We have been selling the paper products since we opened in April this year, and it has attracted a lot of attention," said Mr Cronje, who is from South Africa.

The paper is one of a range of ethnic crafts, including stone and bone sculptures, at Mr Cronje's African Art Collection Store in the Peak Village in Rowsley, Derbyshire.

'Interesting texture'

"Some people come into the store looking for the products and ask me: 'Are you the elephant dung man?'"

The paper is made by Sheila Cooper, an artist in the South African town of Kynsna, who thought the fibre would make an interesting texture.

The dung is collected, washed and the fibre is removed and made into a pulp.

Wall hangings made from the paper and painted with animal sketches and flowers cost from 5 to 35.

"People buy it for the novelty value and there is a lot interest from tourists as the hangings have original art on them," Mr Cronje said.

"I think we are the only supplier of elephant dung paper in the country," he said.


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