CAIRO: A Lebanese artist is about to set a new world record with a massive mosaic image of the Ramadan crescent moon she made with a million bottle caps.
Caroline Chaptini, who is a Christian, said she decided to create the 240-square-meter artwork featuring the symbol of the Muslim holy month to celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of Ramadan, and highlight the unity of Lebanese people of all religions and sects.
She opted to think big when planning the project and set out to break the existing world record for bottle-top mosaics, which was set in 2019 when employees of Japanese manufacturing company Sintokogio used 105,840 caps to create a 108-square-meter image.
This is not Chaptini’s first world record success. Last year in Chekka, a coastal town in northern Lebanon, she built a 28.1 meter-tall Christmas tree made from 120,000 plastic bottles, which set a new Guinness World Record for the tallest plastic bottle sculpture.
The million blue and white caps used in her latest project were collected by people in Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. They were used to create a blue crescent moon and two stars against a white background.
“I made a video telling people that I was planning to collect one million plastic bottle caps,” Chaptini said. “They got my back,” she said of her social-media followers, who quickly spread the word.
“Believe it or not, most of the people who helped me were not my friends or people I knew before this project,” she said.
Chaptini’s plans were unexpectedly threatened when the coronavirus pandemic emerged, but she remained determined to see the project through.
“When we dream, we can make the impossible possible,” she said. So she pushed ahead, with a smaller support team and a few minor changes to the project.
“Initially we were planning to get support from the municipality but they apologized given the coronavirus situation,” she said. “I didn’t want to give up my idea, especially since I had promised people that I would go for it, even though I was still looking for a sponsor.”
Just as she did with the bottles she used in her previous record-breaking project, when this one is complete Chaptini will give the two tons of plastic caps she used to recycling companies who, in return, will donate money to Kids First, an organization in Jbeil that provides support for young cancer patients.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to help these young patients in any way that can help them feel better,” said Chaptini, who has an 11-year-old daughter of her own.
She added that she is proof that you do not have to fit a certain stereotype to build a following on social media or become an influencer.
“I was surprised to see how much influence I had and how much people appreciated art with an environmental and a humanitarian aim,” she said.
“I did not need to be anything but myself to get support and attention for my initiative. I didn’t need to be a model or a makeup artist or to dress up a certain way seeking attention.”