Sculpture of cat phenomenon ‘Tombili’ inaugurated in Istanbul
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyA sculpture created in memory of “Tombili,” a portly cat who became a social media phenomenon after being photographed posing on a sidewalk in Istanbul’s Ziverbey neighborhood, was inaugurated on Oct. 4, World Animal Day.
Following a Change.org campaign demanding that Kadıköy Municipality erect a commemorative sculpture of Tombili, who died in August, sculptor Seval Şahin voluntarily erected the sculpture demonstrating Tombili’s iconic pose on the sidewalk.
The sculpture inaugurated in the same place where the photo was taken at 1 p.m. on World Animal Day.
Kadıköy Deputy Mayor Başar Necipoğlu said in the opening ceremony that 17,000 people on social media had demanded a sculpture for Tombili.
“Kadıköy Mayor Aykurt Nuhoğlu approved this demand. With the support of animal lovers in Kadıköy, we are opening this sculpture, crafted by local sculptor Seval Şahin, on World Animal Day,” Necipoğlu said.
Şahin said the sculpture was made out of bronze in order to resist the elements.
“The sculpture was first worked with mud and then bronze founding was made. As it is in an open area, it has to be made of strong material. That’s why we used bronze. While working on the sculpture I examined books on animal anatomy and also used my friend’s cat, which looks like Tombili,” she added.
Tombili, whose fame spread worldwide after his iconic picture appeared on the viral site 9GAG, passed away after a month-long illness on Aug. 1.
His death was announced by a notice hung on a tree in the neighborhood’s Güleç Street, reading: “You will live on in our hearts.”
According to local residents, Tombili was known for his cool and carefree behavior toward people who tried to play with him, as reflected in the photo of him relaxing on the sidewalk.
As Tombili’s photo become popular worldwide, internet users used it to create various memes, such as photoshopping a glass of rakı or a teacup in front of him.