Worst possible taste: Horse sculpture made of bread placed next to famine prevention stall
Red faces at shopping mall as Valentine's Day sculpture made out of hundreds of slices of bread is placed next to famine prevention event
A horse sculpture made out of hundreds of slices of bread has been removed from a West Kowloon mall after it was spotted next to a famine prevention event.
The horse was made by bakery Bo-Lo'gne to celebrate the coincidence of the Chinese and Western Valentine's Days falling on the same date this year, and had been on display at Olympian City since January 10.
But it was put out to pasture after receiving a less than loving reception when it was spotted in front of the launch event for World Vision's 30-hour Famine last week.
A spokeswoman for World Vision noted "the possibility of such a display sending a message that does not go along with the spirit of the 30-Hour Famine".
"Unfortunately, the horse display was fixed in place," said the spokeswoman. "We hope it did not distract from the key meaning of the famine event."
Sino Group, which manages the mall and has previously pledged to reduce food waste, apologised and removed the display following a South China Morning Post inquiry. A spokesman said disciplinary action would be taken.
The bakery's operation manager Keith Lau Yue-sau said the horse statue was made to celebrate the fact that the two Valentine's Days both fell on February 14 this year. Symbolising the doubling up of this date - the second month and the 14th day - 428 pieces of bread were used.
The horse, made in the style of a popular Italian inflatable horse character named Rody, had originally been scheduled to remain in the mall until February 26.
The bread used was specially baked as slices needed to be drier and harder than usual and were therefore not edible.
Glue and preservatives were spread on the slices so the horse could be kept for "a few years". Special colouring had been used to imitate Rody's colour.
Hundreds of slices were thrown away during the making of the statue, Lau added.
The bakery was selling the type of Danish bread used in the display at HK$57 per 625 grams.
Friends of the Earth's Celia Fung Sze-lai criticised the sculpture as wasteful.
"Food is very precious. If they want to promote their bread, it would be a better idea to just let shoppers try it," she said.
"Now it's a waste and they can't even achieve what they set out to do."
The bakery had planned to keep the horse to use in other exhibitions. Lau said it would now be broken up and used as fertiliser.
But Fung said that even this was a bad idea. She said the bread should not be used either as fertiliser or fodder as the glue and preservatives used could adversely affect the land or livestock.
"They shouldn't have used food for decoration in the first place," she said.