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Seychelles to have a bear soon - in Germany, painted by Henri

Local artist Nigel Henri will next week be in Berlin among another 183 artists from as many countries decorating bear each, in colours and figures every one of the 184 individuals feels best illustrate his or her native land.

Frequent visitor to Seychelles, Mr. Peter Maeschig, under whose sponsorship Henri will travel, explained on Wednesday that the 184 two-metre apiece bears, would represent the countries with which Germany has diplomatic ties.

Accompanied by his wife, Lynn Hofmann, at the National Art Gallery where Mr Henri received his ticket to Berlin, the sponsor explained that the bear statues, which had already been made in synthetic material, all had their paws touching as a sign of unity.

When presenting the artist with his airline ticket and a miniature bear, Mr. Maeschig said that there would this summer be a big art exhibition in the Berlin, the "unified capital of Germany."

"The nick animal of Berlin is the bear, " he said, referring specifically to the famous Berlin Bear.

Mr. Maeschig said each nation would have a bear of the same size regardless of the size or location of the country.

Receiving the ticket, Mr. Henri expressed profound thanks to Mr. Maeschig for his gesture and his expressed love for Seychelles and its people.

The artist said he had looked at the website www.buddy-baer.com, and seen that many of the countries whose representatives had already painted their respective bears, ensured their artwork showed characteristic features of their specific countries.

He said he would likewise try to incorporate marks identifiable with Seychelles. Mr. Maeschig said that after the exhibition, the islands' bear, which he said would certainly serve to promote Seychelles, would either be donated to a United Nations body, or brought "home" and displayed in a suitable location.

Also at the ceremony along with Ms. Hofman were legal executive Alfred Brewster from Victoria Chambers, the director of the National Arts Council, Mr. Emmanuel D'Offay and First Secretary Selby Pillay from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Brewster advised people wishing to visit the buddy-bear site to note that the bear in the website address was spelt as "baer."


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