If you have been to the Shanghai Natural History Museum, then you'll remember the fox sculpture sitting out front with its melancholy look. Today, the museum announced it's time to bid the fox farewell, as it leaves Shanghai and heads back to London.
Image via Shanghai Natural History Museum/WeChat
Dubbed 'Urban Fox,' the sculpture is 7 meters tall and has a tail of more than 10 meters long. Squatting on four large shipping containers, the fox has observed passing pedestrians with its solemn eyes for the past 4 years.
Brought from London by its creator, British artist Alex Rinsler, the fox came to Shanghai Jing'an International Sculpture Project in 2014 and has been popular among residents and tourists alike. Over the years, many have come to take a selfie with the Urban Fox.
Speaking of the source of inspiration for the fox, Rinsler confessed the sculpture is based on red foxes; a species often spotted on the streets of London. Being adept at colonizing built-up environments, these foxes first established themselves in British cities in the 1930s. In 2006, their population in London had reached to 10,000. "They have become a symbol of the peaceful co-existence of man and nature," announced Rinsler.
When Urban Fox first came to Shanghai in 2014. Image via Shanghai Natural History Museum/WeChat
If you pay close attention, you will find the fox looks slightly different from what it did four years ago. That's because the sculpture exterior, which is made from straw, was damaged in 2016 and required repairs. Rinsler and his team not only restored the damage but also upgraded its appearance. They even included 150 bird nests on the fox’s back for birds to inhabit.
At 10am today, a working crew had started disassembling the sculpture. Several civilians came to bid farewell to their fox friend, who has graced the museum entrance for so long. One resident told The Paper, "We often bring our little girl here to see the sculpture. It’s a little sad to see it leave."
Image via The Paper
Nevertheless, we may not have seen the last of the 'Urban Fox.' According to one of the working crew, although the straw from the exterior will be completely removed, the steel structure from the inside will be preserved. If the artist has any new inspiration, there may be an 'Urban Fox' 3.0 in the future.
[Cover image via Shanghai Natural History Museum/WeChat]