Press release issued 4 October 2013
One of the hugely popular Gromit Unleashed statues has been bought by the University of Bristol, helping to raise £2.3million for Bristol’s Children Hospital and ensuring the colourful creature will remain in the city for people to enjoy.
It’s not been decided where the pooch will live yet, but his new home will be somewhere that staff, students and the public will still be able to admire him.
‘Bark at Ee’ was photographed by thousands of people when he was stationed in Queen Square as part of the Gromit Unleashed trail. He was designed by Leigh Flurry, an illustrator and designer based in Bristol, who incorporated Bristol phrases and expressions into the design.
Professor David Clarke, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol, said: “We had our eye on ‘Bark at Ee’ before the auction due to his local connections and we felt he should remain in the city.
“The trail has been such a huge success and it’s wonderful to now own one of the statues, which have really captured the imagination of people not just in Bristol but around the world. They now feel part of Bristol’s history and it’s important to preserve that and ensure people can continue to enjoy it.
“It’s great to be raising money for our partners, the University Hospital Bristol, through the marvellous Grand Appeal charity and to help with transforming the medical care for children in the city.”
The nail-biting auction was streamed live to an audience of over 17,000 people online. Bidders from around the globe competed in the auction, which was presided over by auctioneer Tim Wonnacott from BBC’s Bargain Hunt and the Antiques Roadshow.
‘Bark at Ee’ will join the University’s ‘Going Going Gone’ gorilla which was part of the Wow! Gorillas trail in 2011 to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th anniversary.
© and TM Aardman/W&G Ltd. 2013. ® Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Charity No. 1043603
The trail has been such a huge success and it’s wonderful to now own one of the statues, which have really captured the imagination of people not just in Bristol but around the world.