Elephant Parade is coming home to The Netherlands, the country where it all started. From 1 to 30 September 2018, 34 elephants will be on exhibit at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Last year 68.5 million passengers passed through the airport, it’s the perfect setting for Elephant Parade to continue with its long-standing mission to raise awareness and funds for the Asian elephant.
Having toured the world extensively over the last decade, this is the first Elephant Parade exposition to be hosted at an airport. The choice seems fitting, giving Mosha and the elephants are true world travellers. Elephant Parade as a brand has become a worldwide phenomenon and the expositions have taken the message of elephant conservation and education through art to all corners of the world. An airport is also a location with a diversity of people, fittingly symbolising Elephant Parade’s proven ability to bring people of all geographies, age groups and cultures together – to unite consumers and businesses through art to help to give the elephant a bright future.
The Elephant Parade story began in 2006 from Amsterdam. It was from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol that founders, Marc and Mike Spits, made the journey to Thailand where they first met a baby elephant called Mosha at the world’s first elephant hospital. Mosha was just seven months old at the time; she had lost her leg on a landmine and the Spits were so moved by the chance encounter they set about launching a project to raise money for Mosha. The aim of the project was to make the world’s first prosthesis for a baby elephant. From this spontaneous initiative, Elephant Parade was born. An art piece of Mosha has led every Elephant Parade event since - and to this day Elephant Parade continues to contribute to Mosha’s welfare. Mosha will lead the Elephant Parade herd back to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, a move that takes the Elephant Parade story back to its very inception.
In addition to the art pieces on display at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, two Elephant Parade retail stores will also be opening at the airport for the duration of the parade. The retail stores allow people to take home their very own miniature replica of their favourite art piece and to have their very own ‘elephant in the room,’ spreading the word on elephants and the need to secure their future.
Mike Spits, Elephant Parade Co-Founder said: “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has been the starting point for the majority of my visits when flying to see Mosha in Thailand. It’s also the place where I have started journeys to meet with NGOs and business partners around the world, organisations that have hosted our Elephant Parades and helped us become the world’s largest public elephant art exposition. In many respects this busy, metropolitan travel hub is as much a cultural home for Elephant Parade as Lampang hospital in North Thailand where Mosha lives today.
“To mark the Elephant Parade story going full circle, for our new event at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol a Mosha statue will feature to symbolise the airport being her gateway to the world. For the month of September, you can find her raising awareness for endangered elephants at Jan Dellaert Square. Come along, say ‘hi’ and welcome Elephant Parade home!”
Tanja Dik, Director of Consumer Products & Services at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol added: “Amsterdam Airport Schiphol wants to continue to inspire and surprise her Plaza visitors. We are proud that the world's largest exhibition of decorated elephants is coming to our airport and we’re happy to facilitate this great initiative.”
Details on the Parade
The life-size, baby elephant statues will be at Schiphol Plaza and Jan Dellaert Square between 1 to 30 September 2018. Schiphol Plaza is accessible for all the public.
Four new exclusive art pieces to highlight for the event are by Dutch artists; Saša Ostoja, Gitte Spee, Saskia Pfaeltzer and Esther Springer. The herd will also showcase the skills of local and international artists.
A memorable new parading elephant is “Elephantastic Flight” by Esther Springer. This special, plane-shaped Schiphol design features wings and the Schiphol control tower as well as typical Dutch landscapes.
There will be two Pop-up retail shops. The first at Jan Dellaert Square and a second at the Schiphol Plaza. The Pop-up shops will feature a vast selection of special Dutch-themed miniature elephants as well as replicas from international artists, brands, celebrities and designers from around the world.
Elephant Parade is the world’s largest open air art exhibition of decorated elephant statues that seeks to attract public awareness and support for Asian elephant conservation. Created by local and international artists, each elephant is a unique piece of art. Parades have been run in the following cities:
Emmen Zoo 2010
Dana Point, California 2013
The UK national tour 2013-14 - a 14-month non stop tour, visiting:
London, Manchester, Gateshead, Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham, Norwich, Newcastle, Uxbridge, Lakeside, Stoke, Watford and Bromley.
Chiang Mai 2016
Sao Paolo, Brazil 2017
Rio, Brazil 2018
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam 2018