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Margate's Turner Contemporary campaigns to bring Paula the polar bear to town

By Katie Davis

A life-sized polar bear puppet could be gracing the sands of Margate - if a project to raise £15,000 is successful.

The Turner Contemporary is asking donors to be at the heart of a new campaign to enable Paula the polar bear to come to town this summer.

The aim is to get thousands of people talking about climate change as part of its summer exhibition, Animals & Us.

Paula the polar bear (1520249)
Paula the polar bear (1520249)

If the money is raised, Paula will roam through the town and across the beach throughout the summer season.

The Art Happens campaign will last for four weeks and the project will only be realised if the gallery is successful in raising the money.

Donations can be made from as little as £5 and there are a number of rewards on offer in return for support.

Turner Contemporary has worked with Margate based artist, Sprankenstein to create a limited edition canvas bag and an exclusive print.

Paula the polar bear (1520251)
Paula the polar bear (1520251)

Other rewards include a curator led tour of the Animals & Us exhibition, a unique set of postcards, a puppeteering workshop and an after hours tour of the exhibition with friends followed by a drinks reception.

A spokesman for the gallery said: "We want to take our summer exhibition, Animals & Us, out of the gallery and onto the beach, creating a true spectacle as 'Paula the Polar Bear' roams across Margate sands in the height of the summer season.

"With Margate's beach as the backdrop, Paula will surprise visitors to Margate and encourage thought provoking conversations about how humans can co-exist with animals.

"It will be the first - and possibly last! - time that a polar bear has been seen in Margate."

Paula the polar bear (1520247)
Paula the polar bear (1520247)

Due to the loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change, polar bears are listed as a threatened species.

Paula the polar bear has already travelled to Washington DC, Finland and Auckland to raise awareness of environmental issues.

She is on loan from Greenpeace UK.

The Turner Contemporary has launched its first online fundraising campaign via Art Happens for its seventh anniversary.

To donate, and for more information, click here

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