Friday, May 06, 2011

Zarafa III in Marseille

This marvelous statue of a giraffe and its baby is right on La Canebière, the main street of Marseille. It commemorates the arrival in the city in 1826 of a giraffe given as a gift to King Charles X by Egypt's Mohammed Ali. In 1998, my great friend told the story in his marvelous book Zarafa: A Giraffe's True Story, from Deep in Africa to the Heart of Paris, and ever since -- often without credit -- those who retell the tale call the beauteous beast Zarafa. The reason this is "III" is that football holligans trashed at least one of the earlier versions. This one -- with a place for book donations to the library, or to passers-by (like the guy on the bike) who stop and browse -- is now a permanent fixture.

No comments: