Region’s largest sculpture weighing 120 tonnes, unveiled at Sunset Mall Exhibition
August 19, 2021

Dubai, UAE - August 18, 2021: Mbaye, expected to be the largest and certainly one of the most striking statues to be unveiled in the region will be on display during a 60-day art exhibition at Sunset Mall, Jumeirah 3 from  August 18. The gigantic  lioness head and feet, centerpieces of the  African-themed mega sculpture, are ready for a unique public showcase, after being designed and built in Dubai.

The  entire  project  has  so  far  taken  seven years of  design,  engineering  and  fabrication.  Expected to tower at 13 meters high and weigh a colossal 120 tonne upon completion, Mbaye the Lioness is aptly named after Captain Mbaye Diagne, the slain UN peacekeeping soldier who was killed during the 1994 Rwandan genocide while he was protecting innocent civilians. According  to  Inox  Arabia,  the  creators  of  the  one-of-a-kind  art  exhibition,  Mbaye  the  Lioness  is  a commemoration of the selfless act of caring demonstrated by the fallen soldier.

“We are delighted and honored to unveil the ongoing sculpting of Mbaye the Lioness - a work of art that epitomizes the love and care that Captain Mbaye Diagne showed to thousands of innocent people that were caught up in the tribal war. The objective of this unique art showcase is to inspire people not only in the UAE, but all over the world to care for others regardless of where they come from,” said Lawton Loraine, the chief artist and creator.

Mbaye the Lioness, which was largely inspired by African designs and influences, was conceptualized by Lawton Loraine to incorporate 210 different  native flowers from all over the world representing every country and the beauty of diversity.

The Sunset Mall management team congratulated the  exhibition organizers,  creators and everyone who has participated in sculpting Mbaye the Lioness, terming the event a historic and timely gesture.

“On behalf of Sunset Mall, its customers  and  tenants,  we  are  very  pleased  to  have  the  privilege  of unveiling to the world - Mbaye the Lioness. This statue and exhibition couldn’t have come at a better time. Throughout the global health crisis, we have been urging our employees, customers and partners to take care of themselves and others. This is what Captain Mbaye epitomized and what Mbaye the Lioness now stands for,” said Abdallah  Mouneimne,  MD  at  Dubai  Investment Properties  hat owns Sunset Mall.

The meticulously carved feet of Mbaye the Lioness are crafted using specially imported marble from Carrara,  Italy  and  mined  from  a  quarry  in  the  Tuscan  mountains  (the  same  that  was  used  by Michelangelo),  while  the  giant  head  is  made  using  2  tonnes  of  stainless  steel  and  a  type  of  jade  - Aventurine (a rare quartz stone from Brazil) - for its green eyes and Obsidian. These stones are revered in mythology for luck and healing properties.  

Public viewing of the sculptures, which have taken designers, artisans and craftsmen over 7 years to complete, will be free of charge in Sunset Mall and is open to people of all ages. The steel head has been lit up at night at the mall’s entrance with dazzling lights, to enthrall mall visitors and people on Jumeirah  Road.  Sunset  Mall  is  a community  mall  with  a  line-up  of  cafes,  supermarket,  salons  and services, conveniently located next to Kite Surf beach.

To show solidarity with people of all nationalities and race, Mbaye the Lioness is being built by people from all over the world including the Philippines, Bangladesh, India, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya, China, Italy,  the  United  Kingdom  and  the  UAE.  The  whole  story  is  available  in  a  unique  3D  website  of www.mbaye.com.

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