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Polar Bear to live in Piccadilly

Ice sculpture will mark new museum show

Published on March 25th 2011.

Polar Bear to live in Piccadilly

A GIANT polar bear will be carved out of ice on Thursday 31 March in Piccadilly Gardens.

London-based ice sculptor Mark Coreth and his team will spend six hours carving a four metre long, 2.2 metre high, 10-tonne block of ice into the shape of a life-size polar bear to celebrate the launch of The Manchester Museum’s new Living Worlds gallery, which opens on 14 April 2011.

The exhibit, commissioned by The Manchester Museum, will be located at the southern end of the gardens facing Oldham Street. It will take anything from five days to completely melt away and will reveal an artist’s impression of a polar bear skeleton sculpted in bronze.

This is the fifth polar bear the Ice Bear Project has created and the first outside London. Previously they have been featured in London’s Trafalgar Square in December 2009, Copenhagen and three cities in Canada – Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa. The artist also plans to create a sculpture outside the Sydney Opera House this summer.

Coreth said: "It's fantastic to be able to bring the Ice Bear Project to Manchester, a city that has a great reputation for art and culture. I'm also pleased to be part of Manchester Museum's celebrations for the opening of its fascinating new gallery.

“While sculpting in the High Arctic I realised that I had to create a work that would speak loudly of the problems of climate change. As a bronze sculptor who was working on the ice, I decided to combine the two mediums of bronze and ice in one sculpture. The metaphors are numerous and obvious to the viewer, ultimately, there will always be a bear but when the ice goes it will be a very different bear and there will always be an Arctic but when the ice goes it will be a very different Arctic.”

Director of The Manchester Museum, Nick Merriman, said: “The ice bear is a great way to link The Manchester Museum’s new Living Worlds Gallery with the city, communicating the gallery’s main message that we are all part of nature and through our actions we can make a positive difference.”

Councillor Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s city centre spokesperson said: “Manchester loves public art and this temporary installation is going to be a real show stoppers and get everyone talking. To have this right in the centre of the city is great. We’re really pleased to work in partnership with The Manchester Museum make this happen and help them celebrate the launch of their new gallery in such a unique way.”

Alex King, Piccadilly Partnership Manager said: “It’s fantastic to have the Ice Bear here in Piccadilly Gardens, the heart of the city centre. On an average day more than 80, 000 people walk through the gardens so it means hundreds of thousands of people will have this unmissable opportunity to see a stunning piece of public art.”

The Portland Thistle Hotel will be selling special Ice Bear Project cocktails in their bar, called Perishable Portland.

For more information on the Ice Bear Project in Manchester visit www.cityco.com. For more information on the Ice Bear Project and artist, Mark Coreth visit www.markcoreth.com

For more information on The Manchester Museum’s Living Worlds Gallery, visit www.livingworlds.co.uk

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