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A giant hippo ballerina sculpture was installed across from the Flatiron building

Will Gleason
Written by
Will Gleason

In 2017, a dark cloud descended over New York. Through no fault of her own, the city’s best statue, Hippo Ballerina, was removed from her (admittedly, temporary) perch across from Lincoln Center and removed from public view.

Now, thankfully, our long metropolitan nightmare is over. The 2.5 ton-statue, designed by Danish artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup, was installed this week across from the Flatiron building on 22nd Street and Broadway.

“Standing over 15 feet high, Hippo Ballerina has found a happy home among New York's skyscrapers… I am delighted when people of all ages interact with the bronze sculpture, as they pass, smiling and even posting photos to #dancewithhippoballerina. I know that Hippo Ballerina will enjoy living downtown!” said the artist, Skaarup, in a statement.

Who among us has not tried to reinvent ourselves with a move downtown? Relatable queen.

The statue was inspired by the dancing hippos in the classic Disney film Fantasia as well as Degas’ "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" (Petite danseuse de quatorze ans). The new installation of the statue was made possible through NYC DOT Art & Event Programming, Cavalier Galleries and the Flatiron Partnership. 

"The Flatiron District is a storied part of New York City which has taken on new and exciting roles as a booming residential and commercial district," states Anna Gillis of Cavalier Galleries. "We are very happy to call it Hippo Ballerina’s new home!"

The whimsical statue is currently planned to be on view through Thanksgiving, but here’s to hoping it may find a more permanent home after that. Now that would really be something to be thankful for.

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