By STEPHANIE TUTIN The mosaic pattern on a wooden plaque honoring the victims of the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, may have been inspired by a photograph of an endangered elephant.
But one of the people behind the mosaic, a 19-year-old girl from St. Petersburg, Florida, is now turning her fascination into a way to help her local museum and other institutions protect endangered animals.
Mozambique’s Mozambique Museum of Art said Thursday it has installed a sign on the door of its West Point campus that says “no animals” to visitors.
The sign reads: “Please note, the museum does not allow visitors to bring pets or other animals into the building.”
The sign was installed Friday morning in front of the entrance to the museum, but it has since gone up in other buildings and is still visible.
The museum, which has more than 1,000 pieces of artwork, is located in the capital city of Kampala.
Its director, Paul J. de la Garza, said in an email that he had been working on the sign for several months, and he wanted to remind visitors that animals were part of Mozambican culture.
The signs were created in collaboration with the Mozambicans Wildlife Sanctuary, which operates the sanctuary and has also installed signs with the same message on several of its buildings.
In October, the sanctuary’s director, Jeanette Lauden, and the artists behind the sign joined forces to create a sign for the African Elephant Museum in Cape Town, South Africa, and also posted an Instagram video showing a large elephant statue on a brick wall in the city’s National Gallery.
In a Facebook post, de la Barza wrote that the elephants and other animals in Mozambic culture “were part of our ancestors and our culture,” adding that they also inspired him to design the sign.
He said he is planning to create another sign for another zoo in the future.
He also said he plans to help the zoo in other ways.
The museum says it will work with Mozambians Wildlife Sanctuary to provide temporary shelters for elephants in the next few weeks.