Re: [JBC] What is Wilson?
Date: Tue 19 Mar 2002 - 07:40:11 PST
Giant Mr. Potato Head Vandalized
.c The Associated Press
BELPER, England (March 18) - A giant Mr. Potato Head given to an English town by its U.S. sister city has been scratched and dismembered in an attack by children, residents said Monday.
The weekly newspaper Belper Today reported that the 7-foot fiberglass statue had one of its arms ripped off and its hat broken in the attack last week.
Mr. Potato Head was sent to a fiberglass specialist for repairs and now stands outside the Safeway supermarket in Belper, 130 miles north of London.
``He causes quite a commotion,'' said Julie Arkwright, a store employee. ``We
get lots of parents and children asking about him.''
Dressed as early English settler William Blackstone, Mr. Potato Head was sent to Belper last May as a goodwill ambassador from Belper's sister city of Pawtucket, R.I., headquarters for Hasbro Inc., the toy's manufacturer.
Almost immediately, he became a source of controversy.
Mr. Potato Head was moved from his original site in the center of Belper after residents complained the statue was an eyesore and had no place among the town's historic buildings. For a time, the giant toy was exiled to a children's playground and a Wild West theme park.
Last week Mr. Potato Head was left standing outside a school in nearby Heanor, where a group of children attacked him, the paper reported.
Reg Whitworth, Belper's tourism development officer, said he was reassessing the mascot's future in light of the attack.
``We've had a call from a tourism company in Rhode Island who want to take
him on a tour of America,'' Whitworth told Belper Today. ``So at the moment, I think we'd be quite happy to send him home.''
AP-NY-03-18-02 1557EST Copyright 2002 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Pres Received on Tue, 19 Mar 2002 10:40:11 EST