Mysterious statues originally made for past city event

2016-01-13 12:10
A photo of the Spider-Man statue that appeared at the garden near the Golden Horse Casino, taken when it was first commissioned by the Msunduzi Parks and Recreation Department six years ago.

A photo of the Spider-Man statue that appeared at the garden near the Golden Horse Casino, taken when it was first commissioned by the Msunduzi Parks and Recreation Department six years ago. (Lawrie Raubenheimer)

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Pietermaritzburg - Some light has been shed on the ­mysterious statues appearing in ­municipal gardens in the city and where they might have come from.

They were commissioned by the Msunduzi Parks and Recreation ­Department as an array of characters for the Christmas Fantasia held at ­Alexandra Park six years ago. That’s ­according to Pietermaritzburg Heritage Design and Creation owner Lawrie Raubenheimer, who said he was asked to make them for ­Msunduzi.

Raubenheimer said they had not been used since the display six years ago. The statues went into storage and he did not know where they were now.

He said he suspected someone was “just having a bit of fun” with the statues by placing them around the city.

Pietermaritzburg locals commented on The Witness Facebook page ­yesterday, saying although some ­residents did not like the statues placed in the flower beds, others thought the prank was “quirky” and “fun”.

“I love the statues. Spider-Man made me smile on my way to work. Everyone I have spoken to thinks they are ­charming. Please let them stay,” ­commented Donna-Jade Shelver.

“Leave the statues. They are fun to see and the kids in the cars love it. Let’s stop being a fuddy-duddy city,” said Jogayle Barnes Wahl.

“Please don’t take them down. ­Incorporate them into the garden, plant creepers so it will complement the ­surroundings. #SaveSpidey,” said a comment by Jared Cole.

“I thought there was something wrong with the picture when I drove by the other day. I thought maybe ­Disney was coming to town,” said Thando Somkhanda in his Facebook comment to the page.

An e-mail sent in by local, Mary Bruce, said she drove past Woodburn Stadium twice a day and was ­“intrigued” to see the statue.

“The quirkiness thoroughly ­appealed to me and I thought it was intended possibly to attract the ­attention of a younger audience to the stunning juxtaposition of fruit and veg,” said Bruce.

“It seems entirely appropriate to me to find a tiger in an albeit man-made ‘jungle’ and added to my already ­significant appreciation of the beautiful garden islands all over town.

“I loved the maverick element ­although the credit for that aspect is no longer due to the municipal nursery and am sad that this fun aspect is ­under-appreciated,” she said.

The Msunduzi Municipality acting spokesperson Nqobile Madonda said they were investigating the matter.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  statues  |  flowers

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