Yangon elephant sculpture sets Guinness World Record

The record-breaking elephant sculpture (right) in Maha Bandoola Park. Photo: Voices for Momos
The record-breaking elephant sculpture (right) in Maha Bandoola Park. Photo: Voices for Momos

A papier-mâché elephant sculpture commissioned by local wildlife conservation groups to raise awareness for Myanmar’s shrinking wild elephant population has been recognized by the Guinness World Records as the largest supported papier-mâché sculpture in the world.

The hulking, black sculpture, which measures 21 feet long, seven feet wide, and 21 feet tall, not including the truck, is three times larger than a the average real elephant. It was commissioned by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature’s (WWF-Myanmar) and Voices for Momos and created by street artist Arkar Kyaw and Myanmar traditional papier-mâché sculptor U Myint for an event at Yangon’s Maha Bandoola Park last November.

“We created this elephant sculpture to call for an end to elephant poaching and illegal wildlife trading. We are absolutely delighted to break the Guinness World Record, and we would like to thank the Voices for Momos campaign for letting us be a part of this significant public awareness event,” Arkar Kyaw said upon learning of his achievement.

Public donations funded the creation of the sculpture, which is made of newspaper and bamboo.

Voices for Momos is a coalition of six local conservation groups and has partnered with Myanmar’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation to implement the Myanmar Elephant Conservation Action Plan, which aims to educate people on the rapid decline of Myanmar’s wild elephants. The ministry estimates that one wild elephant is killed in Myanmar every week.

Here’s a video showing the making of the record-breaking sculpture:

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