Born free project

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, Christchurch Rd, New Milton BH25 6QS
Visit the sculpture, click for map >

Previous Locations
Sea Walls, Circular Rd, Clifton, Bristol BS9 1PG
Millenium Green, Baylis Rd, London SE1 7AA - Jan - April 2022
Exhibition Park, Claremont Rd, Newcastle NE2 4PZ - April - Oct 2020

About the project
The world’s favourite eco-warrior artists, Gillie and Marc, are announcing their latest sculpture in their global conservation project, #LoveTheLast. Partnering with the UK charity Born Free, the artists will be creating the largest bronze lion sculpture in the world took up residence in the heart of London. From London it will be travelling all over the country. Inspired by the true story and the film ‘Born Free’, this sculpture is a celebration of an orphaned lion cub who was saved by a loving couple. In Northern Kenya, a game warden called George Adamson was sent to deal with a lion who killed a man. Finding three cubs that were left behind he took them home to his wife, Joy, naming them Big One, Lastika and Elsa. They raised the cubs themselves rehoming two at a zoo. But they had formed a special connection with Elsa. They decided to release her to the wild and started the difficult journey of teaching her to fend for herself. After a lot of setbacks including a lack of hunting skills, being attacked by a warthog, and even becoming seriously injured after a different attack, Elsa found her feet. With a lot of hard work and dedication, they taught her how to be a wild cat and set her free in Kenya. Elsa grew to have cubs of her own, starting a new generation of lions that would have never been.

In the sculpture, Elsa stands on a 1961 landrover. On the ground surrounding her are her cubs, 20 in total. There are also two couples of adult lions, George and Joy, and Bill and Virginia, the real-life couple who raised the little orphaned Elsa, and the actors who played them in the movie. The cubs symbolise the future generations of lions that can be created with hard work, dedication, and a lot of love.