Horny Beast Spotted In Knightsbridge

By M@ Last edited 79 months ago

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Horny Beast Spotted In Knightsbridge

"You can't leave that lyin' around."
"It's not a lion, it's a rhinoceros."

So, we imagine, joshed the labourers who hoisted this peculiar sculpture into place.

The dangling rhino overlooks Knightsbridge. You'll find it about 100m west of the main tube entrance, next to the Bulgari hotel and above the Samer Halimeh jewellers.

Why is it there?

Nobody seems to have commented on this unusual sight. There are no blog posts, or news stories. The only image online seems to be the one we uploaded ourselves.

This sounds like a case for... drum roll... the City of Westminster Planning Application database.

And there it is. An application was made by Samer Halimeh in March 2016 for 'Display of a public art sculpture (in the form of a rhinoceros) suspended above a plinth using a support system including steel fischers and cleats'.

Fischers and cleats, eh? Sounds like a 1970s musical duo from Tennessee.

Turns out this thing wasn't just jerry-rigged. The applicant had to submit all kinds of supporting documents, including these technical drawings by the Robert Angell design firm. We dare say this is the only blueprint in London's history to feature a pendant rhinoceros.

Image nabbed from Westminster Council's planning documents.

The planning officers of Westminster Council took just five weeks to approve the dangling beast, and there it hangs in all its perissodactylan glory.

The application contains a few other choice nuggets. According to the document, 'The applicant has indicated an intention to have a series of different artworks as a revolving display.'

In other words, the rhino's gibbet could be Knightsbridge's answer to the Fourth Plinth. So long as planning consent is granted, we might see further works of art upon this spot.

In case you're wondering, the art in question is called Rhino Sospeso by sculptor Stephano Bombardieri, and it has appeared in other locations around Europe. The applicant describes it as 'a thought provoking sculpture designed to encourage reflection on the link between man and nature'.

Planning consent runs out in April 2017, so see the curious creature while you still can.

Last Updated 13 February 2017