Free exhibition sees life-sized bronze lion sculptures prowl Edinburgh

Published Dec 2022

The free Born Free Forever exhibition will be displayed until January

A pride of stunning life-size bronze lion sculptures are taking centre stage at The Meadows this winter, as a spectacular end to Born Free’s ‘Year of the Lion’.

Completely free, seeing the roarsome public art, named ‘Born Free Forever’, is the perfect family activity for the Christmas holidays.

Created by world-renowned monumental artists, Gillie and Marc, it is thought to be the largest lion exhibition of its type in the UK. Following a launch in London, and three-month stays in Newcastle and Bristol, the lions are seeing out 2022 in Edinburgh as part of the charity’s year of action to ensure the survival of these majestic big cats.

From the brutal trophy-hunting industry to the cruel illegal pet trade, each sculpture represents an issue affecting lions, which have seen a dramatic 90% decline in the wild over the last 55 years. The exhibition is raising awareness of the plight of wild and captive lions, as well as vital funds to support Born Free’s conservation and rescue work.

Free Forever 

Come along to meet the pride and help spread the word by sharing your photos on social media

Born Free was founded in 1984, by actor and filmmaker Bill Travers MBE, with his wife, actress and campaigner Virginia McKenna OBE, and their eldest son, conservationist, Will Travers OBE.

Bill and Virginia are fondly remembered for their portrayal of George and Joy Adamson in the 1966 film, Born Free, which told the true story of their efforts to rehabilitate orphaned lioness Elsa and return her to the wild. Born Free Forever’s centrepiece features a representation of Elsa standing on top of a 4x4 - the charity’s original inspiration and a symbol of hope for the survival of the species.

The Born Free Forever exhibition is part of a series of UK-wide events honouring Bill's legacy, who would have been 100 years old this year.

Will Travers OBE, Born Free’s executive president and co-founder, stated: “We simply cannot ignore the calamitous decline in lion numbers for a moment longer. This incredible sculpture exhibition tells the true stories behind the issues they face. I encourage everyone to visit us in Edinburgh, not only to marvel at the exhibition and learn more about the plight of these emblematic and majestic creatures, but to help us fundraise and campaign so that there is a forever for lions.”

If you would like to support Born Free’s lion conservation work with a donation, you can text 70450 with the word FOREVER to donate £5*, COURAGE to donate £10* or FEARLESS to donate £20*.

For more information, please visit: