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Paper panda exhibition set for return to Taipei

TAIPEI -- The second round of an outdoor exhibition featuring 1,600 paper giant pandas will return to Taipei Friday and is expected by the organizers to attract large crowds again.

The “1,600 Pandas” exhibition, which just concluded its previous tour at the Taipei City Hall plaza between Feb. 28 and March 9, will make appearances at the plaza in front of National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall through to March 30, said the Taipei city government, which is organizing the event.

Over 1 million people went to the paper panda exhibition when it was staged in front of City Hall between Feb. 28 and March 9, according to the city government. The latest display will also feature 200 Formosan black bears made from recycled paper to remind the public that the issue of endangered animals exists in Taiwan as well as elsewhere, it said.

The city has been working with French papier-mache artist Paulo Grangeon to stage the free exhibition, which was first held by the French section of the World Wildlife Fund in a joint project with Grangeon in July 2008 at Paris City Hall.

The art installation is designed to remind people that only 1,600 giant pandas remain in the wild.

As part of his efforts to create vivid representations of the Formosan black bear, the artist visited the Taipei Zoo in January to study the endangered animal.

The exhibition is being held in Asia for the first time, after touring more than 20 countries worldwide, according to the city government.

After the exhibition closes, the paper animals will be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to local charities, the city government said.

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Six paper Formosan black bear dolls are displayed in front of paper panda dolls at the “1,600 Pandas” exhibition in Taipei, yesterday. The addition of Taiwan's indigenous bears at the exhibition formally starts today to raise awareness on the conservation of the animal. (CNA)

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