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Buddy, can you spare a theme?

BEARS will take the lead among the events of the first Shanghai Spring Art Salon.

The Salon was scheduled in June but had to be postponed to September 10-15 because of SARS.

The first event of the salon has been launched on July 1, with the arrival of 24 Buddy Bears from Germany. Local citizens are invited to generate ideas about the creation of themed Buddy Bears.

The Buddy Bear is the mascot of Berlin. These sculptures, nearly two metres high, stand ("the Dancer"), walk ("the Friend") or stand on their heads (the "Acrobat") in the city. They originated in an event aimed at promoting public art and improving the city's environment.

As part of the Art Salon, 24 Buddy Bears are introduced to Shanghai. Renowned artists from Shanghai and all over China will be invited to paint the bears.

They will be displayed in the German Pavilion during the Salon and will participate in other municipal cultural events such as the Tourism Festival or be displayed in public places such as Xintiandi, Century Park, and People's Square.

"Shanghai needs its own mascot. The Buddy Bear can be a rehearsal, giving some enlightenment on how public art should be done," said Li Lei, artist as well as secretary of the Shanghai Spring Art Salon.

Students of the Shanghai German School have completed one Buddy Bear. The German children painted bamboo, a dragon and the Oriental Pearl and Jinmao Towers on the bear, representing their understanding of Shanghai and China.

Citizens can vote for their ideas online, through the theme generating campaign will be closed on July 10. The result will be published and artists will then start working.

|Children are also invited to participate by downloading the bear's pictures and painting them.


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Eine Initiative von Eva und Dr. Klaus Herlitz

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