Hunters Woods Elementary School's PTA bought back on Friday the panda statue its students painted last spring as part of a Washington, D.C. public art project.
Most of the statues that were part of Panda Mania, a project of the D.C. Council on the Arts and Humanities, were sold off last week during an on-line auction.
"Periwinkle," the Hunters Woods panda, which is a sitting panda who is wearing overalls and has poured paint over his head, was bought by the PTA for $4,000 — twice what it had intended to pay.
A last minute bidding war drove the price up to unexpected levels, said Cathy Uhrig, the school's PTA president.
"It got really wild there at the end," she said.
The PTA is asking Hunters Woods parents and other Reston community members to contribute because it far exceeded how much the PTA had budgeted. Uhrig urged anyone interested to write a check to the Hunters Woods Elementary School PTA and drop it off or mail it to the school at 2401 Colts Neck Rd.
"We're just happy to have him back," Uhrig said. "The school is elated. It's really terrific."