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Last Updated: Friday, 5 May 2006, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Mechanical beast to start parade
The girl meets the Elephant

Crowds have watched a giant mechanical elephant weighing 42 tonnes plodding through the streets of London as part of a four-day street theatre.

The 12m (40ft) has marched past landmarks including the London Eye and Trafalgar Square.

It then met up with a 5m (16ft) tall "girl" in Horse Guards' Parade on Friday afternoon.

Several roads will be closed and thousands of people are expected to follow the spectacular procession.

The show began on Thursday morning with the appearance of a crashed spaceship in Waterloo Place, off Pall Mall.

It has taken two years to negotiate with all the authorities involved to bring The Sultan's Elephant show to London.

Traffic is expected to come to a standstill and roads will be closed as the elephant passes through.

The show, by French arts company Royal de Luxe, tells the story of a sultan and his magical time travelling mechanical elephant.

The elephant consists of hundreds of moving parts and is made largely of wood.

It will thunder through streets, squares and public spaces, along with scores of performers and some large-scale puppets.

Police advise motorists not to use the routes around Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly and Regent Street over the weekend and some closures are also likely in The Mall and Horseguards Road.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the mechanical elephant walking through London



SEE ALSO:
Mechanical elephant visit looms
04 May 06 |  London


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