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Rhino repair squad to the rescue

Rhino repair squad to the rescue

Rhino repair squad to the rescue

Vincent Van Gogh severed his in a fit of artistic passion. RhinoBeta3107 lost his to drunken revellers – but at least there’s a happy ending to one of these ear-related rhino damagetales.

RhinoBeta3107 is one of 40 life size painted fibre glass rhinos currently wowing the people of Exeter and the English Riviera in a huge free summer art trail.

Sadly, RhinoBeta3107 was the victim of wanton violence when his ear was broken off in the dead of night while innocently standing outside Exeter Central Station.

It was art imitating life – but where Van Gogh cut off his own ear, that of RhinoBeta3107 was removed by an assailant. Luckily, the broken piece was handed in to the Angel pub, just opposite.

Step forward Plastic Surgeon Fine Finishers, the nationwide surface repair specialists based in Bovey Tracey. Our heroic Finisher Chris Garner repaired the damage, making everything as good as new – an extraordinarily impressive feat.

Using advanced techniques, Chris went about rectifying the damage to the rhino. The process involved using various sanding techniques, fillers and sealants to reattach the ear and bring the surface back up to its original standard. From there, Chris then recoated the repaired surface to match the pattern of its pre-damage artwork.repair

With the repair complete, the damage is now practically invisible to the naked eye. Phil Knowling, Press Officer at Paignton Zoo remarked: “The repair really is excellent. You can’t even see the join!”

Cathy Baillie, Marketing Manager at Plastic Surgeon, said: “We’d put together the more as a precaution than in genuine expectation of being needed. Previously, we were involved with the zoo’s Great Gorillas Project where we performed a similar function, but one that saw minimal requirement. We weren’t anticipating such a rapid involvement – assuming we’d be taking care of wear and tear towards the end of the project.”

She added: “It’s shocking that after the artist has spent so much time preparing the design that anyone would want to vandalise it. The Great Big Rhinos Project is raising money to protect this endangered species and it is sad to see this mindless damage.

The unfortunate thing is that when the rhinos are in for repair, it means the public are unable to enjoy them. They look marvellous, so we want them to be on display for as long as possible.rhino repair

Fortunately, as a repair company, we deal with damage on a daily basis so our skilled technician was able to carry out a great repair which means that RhinoBeta3107 will soon be back on the rhino trail for everyone to enjoy.”

With 40 rhino sculptures making up the trail, the repair squad is ready for further action. Another rhino, called Glimpses – originally positioned outside of Exeter’s Guildhall – has received impact damage from what looks like a blunt instrument, again due to suspected vandals. This is the next job that the Rhino Repair Squad is tasked with.

Cathy concluded: “It’s a fantastic project to be involved with and we’re more than happy to do what we can to help it go smoothly. Let’s hope that much of the initial damage is down to exuberance rather than genuine malice, and that going forward people can appreciate the sculptures for the brilliant bits of art they are.”

Please help us raise money for @GreatBigRhinos conservation, donate at our Just Giving page

To find out more about the Great Big Rhino Project visit www.greatbigrhinos.org.uk.