Swiss cows take over streets of London

Around 150 life-size cows will be on tour in Britain in the coming weeks.

A herd of multicoloured Swiss cows has invaded the streets of London - and it's all in the name of charity.

This content was published on June 18, 2002 - 15:24

Around 150 life-size fibreglass cows have been colourfully painted and decorated by a variety of artists and celebrities to raise funds for charity.

The herd of Alpine cows, with names like Daisy Beckham, London Bus and Beef Wellington, took to the streets of the British capital on June 18th and will be on a British tour for the next 12 weeks.

'CowParade does not claim to be high art, but it is art for the masses. It offers a new and exciting canvas to challenge artists,' says Charles Langhorne, European coordinator of the Cowparade project.

"It's a light-hearted and whimsical exhibition that will bring a smile to most faces," he added.

Swiss idea

CowParade is the brainchild of Swiss sculptor Walter Knapp, who - together with his son, Pascal - developed a series of fibreglass cows designed for use as blank canvases for artists.

The idea first took off back in 1998, when the original batch of over 800 cow sculptures were set loose on the streets of Zurich.

Organisers claim the inaugural event drew an additional one million visitors to the city. CowParade later travelled to Chicago, New York, Kansas and Houston, Texas.

While the cow forms remain the same, local artists in each city are asked to paint the sculptures to whatever design they see fit.

Each of the cows on display in London is individually sponsored and will be auctioned later in the autumn. One of the principle UK charities to profit from the event will be Child Line, a free, 24-hour helpline for children in trouble or danger.

by Claudia Spahr

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