Source: Tehran Times
Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli has announced his plans to dedicate one of his latest works in his Lion series to a lion killed in Zimbabwe in July in order to take part in the international outcry over the death of the animal.
"Fifty years ago the last lion of Iran died in solitude.
With his death, not only did one of Iran's majestic creatures vanished from this earth, but also the most iconic symbol of the country lost its tangible existence.
I have made numerous lions in various shapes and mediums in honour of the last lion of Iran.
The recent barbaric slaughter of Zimbabwe's beautiful lion, Cecil, broke my heart.
In the memory of Cecil, I am dedicating one of my latest lions to keep his memory alive and to help put a stop to violence against all living creatures on earth." ~ Parviz Tanavoli (posed on his facebook page)
The 13-year-old male lion known as Cecil was shot and killed illegally by U.S. dentist Walter Palmer in the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.
"Fifty years have passed since the last Iranian lion died in isolation," Tanavoli told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.
"With his death, not only has one of the most extraordinary creatures vanished from the earth, but also our country has lost a tangible example of its national symbol," he added.
"The cruel killing of the Zimbabwean lion known as Cecil broke my heart, so in memory of him, I will be dedicating one of my latest lions to him in order to keep his memory alive and to help stop cruelty to animals," he stated.
Outrage over the killing of Cecil propelled efforts to curb killings of endangered and threatened species, the New York Times reported.
Palmer is believed to have paid some $50,000 to hunt Cecil, who was a major tourist attraction in the Hwange National Park.
Zimbabwe officials are currently seeking his extradition to face charges.
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