With the Lions project, Jerusalem decided to join the club of cities that have turned their streets into art galleries. What could be more natural than to take the lion, the symbol of the City, as the central feature of the exhibition?

The plan has its roots in Zurich, Switzerland where in the summer of 1998, a novel project in the field of plastic art was introduced to the world. The project to place hundreds of cow statues decorated by different artists succeeded in capturing the imagination of the city for many months to come. The originality and freshness of this project enchanted many people across the globe with the result that it spawned many similar events in other cities.

The temporary invasion of dozens of animal statues to the streets of the city is surprisingly refreshing. Pedestrians, and vehicle users travel through the city's' streets unaware that they are observing and are actually taking part in a major citywide exhibition of street art.

Taking place on avenues, streets, public and open spaces the cavalcade of sculpture is unpretentious, accessible, democratic and invigorating. Citizens, visitors and tourists are excited by the exhibitions' vivaciousness, color, sense of humor and freshness. The curious spectator will find more and more animal statues, often being astonished by discovering them in unexpected places. The mere physical presence of the statues on one side combined with the energy, creativity and expressiveness embodied by the art on the other will encourage people to find and locate them all.

Sixty life size lion statues will form the cornerstone of the project. The Jerusalem Municipality will initiate a variety of cultural, tourist and community actions involving the choice of artists, conceptual planning the creation and placement of the statues.

Artists both established, senior and younger artists just finishing their studies will be invited to commission works. They will be able to incorporate ideas from the visual arts, graphic and industrial design etc. The works of the participants should demonstrate the broad perspective of current Israeli Art, daring expressionism and quality.

Once the project is over the statues will be sold by public auction, the distribution of the proceeds being decided at a later date.

Exhibition Curator : Dafna Naor