Visitors to the Sai Gon Zoo and Botanical Gardens will see with admiration a newly restored artistic work near the Hung Kings Temple – a bronze elephant statue gifted by King Prajadhipok (Rama VII of Siam) in 1934 as a mark of friendship.
Unpack your trunk: Bronze elephant statue at the Sai Gon Zoo. — File Photo
The king started a long overseas journey to a number of countries including some European ones and Viet Nam, and was in Sai Gon from April 14 to 16, 1930.
Four years later he dispatched the bronze elephant statue by a French vessel, and it arrived in Sai Gon in October 1935.
The bronze cast statue with a howdah, which weighs over a tonne, was set on a cement pedestal coated with terrazzo.
Last year the Thai Consulate General in the city began restoration of the statue and landscape around the area in collaboration with the Sai Gon Zoo and support from Thai firm SCG. "His Majesty the King of Thailand, has traditionally taken efforts to enhance the relationship and collaboration between Viet Nam and Thailand and we have followed him," Dhep Vongvanich, SCG executive director in Viet Nam, said at the handover ceremony on Friday.
"It is our honour to support the restoration of the symbol of friendship between the two countries."
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