The Big Elk under construction in China late last year. Photo: Linda Bakke
Oslo this week took delivery of the world's largest elk sculpture, a ten-metre-high beast in shimmering steel which stands 30cm taller than its Canadian rival 'Mac the Moose'.
The giant elk, created by Norwegian artist Linda Bakke, will mark the mid-point of the road between Oslo and Trondheim, welcoming travellers to the country's northern reaches.
The statue, called 'Storelgen' or 'The Big Elk' is part of a Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) project to use art to reduce traffic accidents.
“The idea is that people will stop to have a look at the elk and at the same time stretch their legs and get some fresh air.” Artist Linda Bakke told Norwegian broadcaster TV2.
As well as a tourist attraction the hope is that the elk will help reduce traffic accidents by reminding drivers of the dangers of wildlife and breaking the monotony of driving.
The elk is a lifelike depiction and is made of polished steel that will reflect the natural beauty of the scenery around it.
Bakke says it was important that the elk was made higher than Mac the Moose, a fiberglass moose built in 1984 in the city of Moose Jaw, Canada.
“Also, at will be much nicer than Mac the Moose,” she told TV2. “The NPRA wanted a magnificent specimen of an elk.”
The monstrous animal arrived in Oslo this week after a long journey from China, where it was constructed, mainly because it was cheaper.
”Both in terms of price and craftsmanship the Chinese are the best,” Bakke told local paper Østlendingen
The new elk will be assembled on site, with a world record to crown its inauguration.
In a previous project, Bakke made a number of brightly coloured giant elk horns attached to trees along a stretch of road.