Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Wednesday, 22 April 2009 08:22 UK

City awaits 200 model elephants

Model elephant
The model elephants will appear in streets, parks and squares

A colourful herd of 200 model elephants will appear in London to raise money for conservation charities.

Artists including Sacha Jafri and Sam Hacking will decorate each of the 1.5m (4.9ft) high fibreglass models, to be displayed in public places next summer.

After three months charity Elephant Family will auction the models to raise money to protect India's elephants.

A spokeswoman said: "The elephants will appear overnight to cheer London up and raise some vital funds."

The models will be placed in streets, parks and squares from May 2010.

'Innovative art'

Elephants will also be put on display at Buckingham Palace, Parliament Square and on the South Bank.

The charity aims to raise £1m for elephant conservation charities.

London Mayor Boris Johnson described the scheme as "a brilliantly innovative way of using public art to benefit conservation".

Elephant parades have already been held in Antwerp and Rotterdam, and after London it will move to New York and Milan.

It follows the format of Cow Parade, which began in Zurich in 1998 to increase tourism and raise money for charity.

In 2002 decorated cows were displayed in London then sold for £350,000 for ChildLine.

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