Virginia McKenna opens Born Free exhibition in London

Published Jan 2022

The sculptures include a depiction of Elsa the lioness, the foundation's inspiration and symbol.

Born Free star Virginia McKenna has opened an exhibition of life-sized bronze lions aiming to raise awareness of the plight of the animals.

The actress and wildlife campaigner, 90, starred in the 1966 film, which was set in Kenya alongside her late husband Bill Travers and now runs The Born Free Foundation.

She opened the outdoor display at Waterloo Millennium Green in London alongside her eldest son Will during the week in which her husband would have celebrated his 100th birthday. Travers died in 1994 from a coronary thrombosis aged 72.

“We simply cannot ignore the declining numbers for a moment longer.

“This life-size, outdoor, bronze sculpture exhibition, featuring iconic lions, including Elsa on top of a 4×4, tells the true stories behind the issues they face.

“I encourage everyone to visit us in London not only to marvel at the exhibition and learn more about the plight of these emblematic and majestic creatures but help us fundraise and campaign so that there is a forever for lions.”

Gillie and Marc Schattner said: “The bronze cubs symbolise the future generations of lions that can be created with hard work, dedication and a lot of love.

“The lion is a big part of our national identity and personifies the qualities of what it is to be British; strength, courage and pride. If wild lions were to become extinct, we would lose part of ourselves.”

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