Just Nuisance vandalised

2019-05-21 06:00
Just Nuisance statue has been vandalised, with his replica collar and Royal Navy sailor’s cap having been removed.

Just Nuisance statue has been vandalised, with his replica collar and Royal Navy sailor’s cap having been removed.

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The Simon’s Town Historical Society is searching for answers regarding the vandalism of the Just Nuisance statue at Jubilee Square last week.

The incident took place on Monday 13 May and there are still no leads just yet as to what happened to the replica collar and Royal Navy sailor cap that lay in front of the pooch, as a part of the statue.

“We are obviously devastated that this has happened and there is a process taking place to find them,” says Eric Mawhinney, chairperson of the historical society. “The statue is often used to advertise the town; it’s one of the draw cards of the museum.”

The statue was erected in 1985 to commemorate the beloved Great Dane by the same name that provided support to Royal Navy sailors and was later the first dog ever to be enlisted in the Royal Navy.

Nicky Holderness was the person responsible for having the statue created and installed in Simon’s Town. “I was responsible for the statue being erected; I was on the council at the time. All the tourist buses went right through Simon’s Town and didn’t even stop.”

She was advised to create a tourist attraction in order to get people to stop in the area and stay for longer periods, and so the idea of the statue was born. Over the few months it took for the idea to come to life, she facilitated a competition to find the perfect artist to create the likeness of hound – some entrants’ concept sketches can still be found in the Simon’s Town museum. The statue was finally erected in 1985 and did, in fact, become a hit with tourists. “When we erected the statue, we decided that we wouldn’t have it surrounded by a fence because we wanted children to be able to climb on it, and let parents take photos of their children,” she said.

As an interactive installation, it was never expected that it would be vandalised and has never been tampered with in this way in the past, according to Holderness.

It is suspected that the perpetrator stole the items to sell for financial gain, but Holderness says it’s a shame because the artistic value is much higher.

Mawhinney says: “The Society will do what it can to try to fix the matter. A lot of the older residents would feel a connection to the statue.”

The historical society has advertised a reward of R5000 to whoever has information that will lead to an arrest.

Simon’s Town police have reported no leads on the case, at the time of print.

V If you have any information, contact Warrant Officer Piedt on 021 786 8646.

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