Taipei, Feb. 28 (CNA) A large crowd flocked to Taipei City Hall plaza Friday to see an outdoor art exhibition that features 1,600 paper giant pandas.
On the morning of the opening day, the display of the 30-centimeter-tall paper pandas drew over 5,000 visitors, who were busy taking photos and exclaiming in excitement.
Some of them complained, however, that they were kept too far away from the display and could not get a feel of the artwork.
"I would like to experience what it's like to be surrounded by the pandas," said a visitor surnamed Chang.
The display, aimed at reminding people that there are only 1,600 giant pandas remaining in the wild, also includes 200 papier-mache Formosan black bears in an effort to raise awareness of the endemic Taiwan species.
The "1,600 Pandas" exhibition is a cooperative effort between Taipei City and French papier-mache artist Paulo Grangeon, who visited the city zoo last month to study the endangered Formosan black bear so that he could create vivid representations for inclusion in the display.
The paper pandas and bears will remain on display at the city hall plaza until March 9, after which they will be moved to the plaza at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, also in Taipei, for exhibition between March 14 and 30, according to the organizers.
The art pieces are waterproof, according to the organizers, who said there is a stock of bamboo hats and raincoats to protect the displays in case of any weather emergency.
The exhibition is being held in Asia for the first time, after touring more than 20 countries worldwide, the Taipei City government said. It was first held by the French section of the World Wildlife Fund in July 2008 at Paris City Hall, in collaboration with Grangeon.
(By Lee Hsin-Yin)
Free admission; opening hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
●Feb. 28-March 9: in front of Taipei City Hall
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●March 14-30: the plaza in front of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei