One of Pan’s favourite sports was pursuing beautiful wood nymphs that strayed into the high forests where he lived. His strange, coarse goat-like features frightened the nymphs and they would flee in fear of him. From this we got the term “panic”. He was particularly smitten by one nymph whose name was Syrinx but she did not welcome his attentions. One day, being pursued by Pan, she came to the river. Exhausted, she beseeched the water nymphs to protect her. Just as Pan was about to grasp her, she was transformed into one of the many reeds that grew along the river bank. Frustrated, Pan plucked the reeds and fashioned them into the first flute. Since that day, he can be found playing sweet music on the flute which is the embodiment of his unrequited love. We have come to call his instrument the ‘pan-flute’ but more correctly, its name is Syrinx after Pan’s lost nymph.
This sculpture was carved out of an 8,700 Kg (19,300 Lbs) block. By the time the sculpture was completed, George had removed more than 3,000 Kg (7,000 Lbs) of stone, an impressive feat considering the work was done outdoors in blackfly season!