Ashton Gate Stadium has a statue of Bristol City legend John Atyeo and has played host to many of the Grand Appeal Wallace and Gromit statues over the years, but now there’s a new one to go and see – of a lion.
The statue has been painted by Rolling Stones guitarist, and is one of 47 sculptures, each painted by someone famous, in locations all around the world, from New York to Nairobi and from Sydney to BS3.
The sculpture is part of a global trail – although visiting each one as a summer holiday activity might be a little more challenging than the Gromits of a few years back – that is raising money and awareness for Tusk, the African wildlife and conservation charity.
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It was unveiled on Saturday at Bristol City’s first game of the season by the owner of Bristol Sport, Steve Lansdown.
“We are proud to be part of the Tusk Lion Trail 2021 and it’s an honour for Ashton Gate Stadium to play its part in the global campaign,” he added.
“Each sculpture highlights the magnificence of lions and educates about the threats to their existence – raising awareness for conservation efforts across the world. The population of African lions has declined by as much as 50 per cent in the last 25 years, so the risk to Africa’s unique natural heritage remains more urgent than ever.
“We hope visitors across the West Country come to Ashton Gate to enjoy our iconic lion sculpture and support the work of Tusk,” he added.
The Tusk Lion installation painted by Ronnie Wood
Tusk has been going for more than 30 years, and now operates across 20 countries, turning more than 70 million hectares of land into wildlife reserves to protect more than 40 different species.
Bristol’s Tusk Lion Trail lion was painted by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, and there are others all across the world painted by everyone from American fashion designer Donna Karan, Dire Straits bassist John Illsley, Great British Bake Off host Noel Fielding, and Bristol City fan and local legend John Cleese.
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