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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Standing Tall #10

I'll admit I was initially a bit bewildered by the title of this one: Zarafa's Blue Mandala's by Jeremey Sauzier, but a little research filled me in.
Zarafa was a female Nubian giraffe who was sent as a gift to King Charles X of France by Muhammad Ali of Egypt in 1827. She lived in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris for 18 years, and her stuffed body is currently still on display in the La Rochelle museum. Mandalas are ritualistic symbols found in India that represent the wholeness of the universe, here portrayed in blue and white to reflect delicate china patterns.
Put them together and you've got a striking blend of history and religious symbolism, though the sculpture was somewhat unfortunately placed in the shadow of a large stone pillar covered in advertisements. As such, it sort of slipped my notice when I visited it for the first time; now in hindsight it's clear what a lovely design it had.

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