The largest bronze gorilla statue in the world is making its way to New York City this month. On August 24, King Nyani will be on display at Hudson Park. Inspired by the famous film King Kong, the statue is designed to raise awareness about the endangered mountain gorilla species and to change the narrative about the animals from one of violence (as depicted in the movie) to one of compassion. Instead of terrorizing New York City atop the Empire State Building, this gorilla will be giving out free hugs to any willing New Yorkers.
The giant bronze statue is the work of world-renowned public artists Gillie and Marc Schattner. Working alongside the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the WWF, the artists strived to create both a realistic and poignant depiction of a gorilla. The couple even went on a special trip to Uganda where they were able to see a family of mountain gorillas in the wild. Struck by the empathy and kindness on display in the gorilla family, the artists made it their goal to bring this same message of empathy to the art they were creating.