Iranian Artist Parviz Tanavoli Dedicates Sculpture to Cecil the Lion

Lions are a central motif in Tanavoli's ouevre. Photo: Steven Senne via AP Photo
Iranian star artist Patviz Tanavoli has spoken out against animal cruelty. Photo: http://payvand.com

Iranian star artist Patviz Tanavoli has spoken out against animal cruelty.
Photo: http://payvand.com

The killing of Cecil, a well-known protected lion, on July 1 in Zimbabwe at the hands of the American dentist and hunter Walter Palmer, has provoked an international backlash that has even reached the art world.

The latest art world figure to speak up against hunting and cruelty towards animals has been Parviz Tanavoli, one of Iran’s best-known artists.

The 78-year-old sculptor, who has used the lion motif in his sculptures throughout his career, has dedicated his latest creation to Cecil.

Lions are a central motif in Tanavoli's ouevre.  Photo: Steven Senne via AP Photo

Lions are a central motif in Parviz Tanavoli’s oeuvre.
Photo: Steven Senne via AP Photo

“The cruel killing of the Zimbabwean lion known as Cecil broke by heart,” Tanavoli told AFP“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.”

The sculptor, who works primarily in bronze, is part of the Saghakhaneh movement, which focuses on elements of Iranian culture. Tanavoli says he was devastated when lions became extinct in Iran over 50 years ago.

US dentist and big game hunter Walter Palmer reportedly paid $55,000 to kill Cecil the lion. Photo: Bryan Orford / YouTube via The Week

US dentist and big game hunter Walter Palmer reportedly paid $55,000 to kill Cecil the lion.
Photo: Bryan Orford / YouTube via The Week

Meanwhile, Zimbabwean authorities have called for Palmer to be extradited to face poaching charges. The hunter went into hiding after he received a slew of death threats and animal rights activists picketed his dental clinic in Minnesota.

Related stories:

Artist Protests Lion-Killing Dentist Walter Palmer With Majestic Portrait of Cecil

Davis Museum to Mount Retrospective of Iranian Artist Parviz Tanavoli

Iranian Police Raid Tehran Home of Parviz Tanavoli, Seizing and Damaging Sculptures Worth Millions


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