Nottingham’s sister city Ningbo has given the city two stone Chinese lions which have been unveiled at Highfields Park on the University of Nottingham’s University Park campus this week.

The stone lions were officially revealed on Monday in a special ceremony by Councillor Jon Collins and Ningbo Vice-Mayor Mr Wang Jianhou.

The gift reflects the ever-strengthening ties between the two cities, and as a reciprocal gesture, Nottingham will be presenting Ningbo with a full-sized replica of Robin Hood in November this year.

“The generous gift of two stone lions […] will act as a unique, visual symbol of enduring relations between Nottingham and Ningbo”

The two stone lions have been placed opposite one another on plinths in front of Highfields Lake, with the University of Nottingham’s Trent building framed in the background. Each statue is two metres tall and is 3.5 tonnes in weight.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Engagement at the University of Nottingham, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, said: “The generous gift of two stone lions, which complement the icons of Old Market Square, will act as a unique, visual symbol of enduring relations between Nottingham and Ningbo.”

“We are honoured to receive the gift of these Chinese lions from the city of Ningbo”

Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of Nottingham City Council, said: “We are honoured to receive the gift of these Chinese lions from the city of Ningbo to celebrate the tenth anniversary of our association.”

He added: “This particular site has been chosen for the lions, symbolically standing at the entrance to the University and the gateway to the City.

“It is a fitting gesture to the University’s pioneering work in establishing itself in Ningbo and opening the door to wider connections being made across the city.”

Tamsin Parnell

Image: via University of Nottingham Facebook

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