Ram is eagle food.

Eagles and Goat Statue

Field review by the editors.

New York, New York

Central Park attracts millions of New Yorkers to the urban oasis within its bucolic borders, inspiring contemplation of a peaceful and picturesque landscape... that is, until one comes upon the "Eagles and Prey" statue by Christophe Fratin and is reminded that nature is often violent, horrifying and downright gory.

This tribute to the "circle of life" depicts two victorious, wing-flapping eagles tearing into the guts of a dying goat. The triumphant birds obviously have no qualms about ganging up on their victim, whose pleading expression is heartbreaking in its helplessness.

Eagles and prey.

The artist Fratin was the son of a taxidermist; this may explain his intense interest in, and finesse with, animal anatomy (Not all of his works are as gruesome as this one; he was also known for sculpting dancing bears.).

This is the oldest known sculpture in any New York City park. It was cast in 1850 in Paris and donated to the park in 1863 by Gordon Webster Burnham. The gift of a bronze statue was totally appropriate, as Burnham made most of his money manufacturing bronze buttons, pins and other essential but everyday metal goods.

Although it's far less famous than Bowling Green's well-rubbed "Charging Bull," we think that "Eagles and Prey" may be an even more apt 3-D metaphor for Manhattan's fiercely competitive and unforgiving commercial culture. After making it through yet another rough day in this "dog eat dog city" (or is it "eagle eat goat?") we look into those sadly sculpted mammalian eyes and feel a kinship with the raptors' snack.

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Eagles and Goat Statue

Central Park

Address:
Central Park Driveway, New York, NY
Directions:
Mid-park at about 69th Street. Enter at 72nd Street. Start at the top of the section of the Mall below the Naumberg Bandshell. Find the top of The Mall. Head west to Beethoven, then turn south and walk down the path.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Statue of Balto the Wonder DogStatue of Balto the Wonder Dog, New York, NY - < 1 mi.
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Giant Alice in Wonderland SculptureGiant Alice in Wonderland Sculpture, New York, NY - < 1 mi.
In the region:
KGB Espionage Museum, New York, NY - 3 mi.

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December 6, 2019

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