Authorities in Quang Tri Province, located in north-central Vietnam, have granted a certificate of merit together with a cash bonus to the creator of a graceful cat mascot statue, called the ‘Miss Cat’ by netizens, used to celebrate the 2023 Lunar New Year (Tet), which is the Year of the Cat.
Dinh Van Tam, a 32-year-old local man, who made the charming artistic work, received the provincial government’s certificate of merit, together with a bonus of VND20 million (US$852), from Ha Si Dong, standing deputy chairman of the Quang Tri administration, on Friday.
Since the cat mascot statue was put on display at the square of the province’s Trieu Phong District on January 15, tens of thousands of people have flocked there for viewing and photographing during the past seven-day Tet holiday, from January 20 to 26, district authorities said.
The cat statue has also caused great excitement to social media communities, who have honored it as the ‘Miss Cat,’ as it is considered truly beautiful and elegant.
Currently, the square has still attracted thousands of visitors every day, according to local authorities.
“The cat's body and fur are so beautiful and soulful, and its glittering eyes are so cute,” a netizen was quoted by VTC News as commenting.
Tam and his associates created the mascot within 10 days as per a purchase order from the administration of the district’s Ai Tu Town for VND31 million ($1,321), according to VTC News.
The cat statue, made of foam and plaster, is 3.1 meters high, 2.2 meters wide, and 2.8 meters long, and weighs about 250 kilograms.
In order to perfect the ‘Miss Cat,’ Tam spent his own money on buying additional materials to optimize the beauty of his work.
Tam has not graduated from any sculpture school, but he has amassed 15 years of experience in this field.
In fact, Tam has been well known to the public since last year’s Tet, when he created a tiger mascot statue for the 2022 Year of the Tiger, which was displayed at Le Duan Park in Quang Tri’s Dong Ha City.
The tiger statue, with its strong, brave and majestic charisma, became a sensation on social media at that time.