03/12/2012 02:52 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Vancouver's laughing statues could be saved

Temporary statues of a group of laughing men in Vancouver's West End could be saved by an anonymous donation, after a campaign to save the popular art work proved successful.

The bronze sculptures were installed in a small park near English Bay just before the Olympics, on loan for two years from a sculptor in China to celebrate public art.

But the statues proved a big hit with locals and tourists alike and a few months ago, a campaign began to raise enough money to keep them.

Chair of the Vancouver Park Board, Constance Barnes, says that goal has now been met, thanks to a price cut by the artist and an anonymous donation.

"There's an anonymous person who's come forward to foot the bill. The cost was at $5 million but it was put down to $1.5 million, so it's not at the cost of the taxpayers."

The park board will vote at the end of March on whether or not to accept the gift and allow the laughing statues to remain permanently in the park.

The public has until Friday to submit comments.