1,600 'pandas' land in Malaysia as part of world tour

Some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas are displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas are displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian women pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian women pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian women pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Malaysian women pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Malaysian couple takes a selfie as they pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Malaysian couple takes a selfie as they pose with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas are displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
Some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas are displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Malaysian woman poses with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP
A Malaysian woman poses with some of the 1,600 papier-mache pandas displayed at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur on Dec 21, 2014, as part of their first appearance in the city. -- PHOTO: AFP

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The 1,600 Pandas World Tour made its debut in Malaysia on Sunday morning, in a bid to increase awareness on animal welfare and environmental conservation.

The adorable panda sculptures, created by French sculptor Paulo Grangeon, were paraded at Dataran Merdeka to much fanfare and excitement among visitors.

Present to witness the launch of the tour in Malaysia was Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong, Tourism and Culture Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Ong Hong Peng and Chinese ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Huang Huikang.

The pandas will make stopovers at 15 iconic landmarks throughout Malaysia as part of the tour, themed “Initiating the Culture of Creative Conservation”.

According to reports, Grangeon created the 1,600 paper mache pandas in various poses and sizes by using recycled paper. It is a symbolic representation of the amount of pandas left in the wild.