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Lion commemorating Ottoman-era battle victory damaged
30 Sep 2013 Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská Regional News
UNKOWN perpetrators damaged the bronze Vozokany Lion statue, located between the municipalities of Veľké Vozokany and Tesárske Mlyňany in Nitra Region, in mid September, possibly in an attempt to steal it. The thieves removed the historical monument from its marble pedestal, after which they attempted to saw it into several pieces, but stopped for no apparent reason.
The lion was found in the bushes near its pedestal. Nitra Regional police spokesperson Božena Bruchterová told the SITA newswire that police launched an investigation into the incident. If convicted the perpetrators could face a year in prison.
The Vozokany lion dates back to 1896 and commemorates a victory of the Christian army over the Ottomans in a nearby battle in 1652.
The Mayor of Veľké Vozokany, Justína Pálková, said that although there have been attempts to damage the statue, in 117 years, no one has ever tried to steal it. “The statue was sawn in six places by an angle grinder” she told SITA. “The thieves might have intended to cast the bronze into small bricks so that no one can detect where it was from.”
The lion was brought to a restoration expert in Galanta. The cost to repair the statue is estimated at €4,000.
The mayor has two theories on why the thieves left the lion behind: either they did not have the right tools to finish the job, or they were disrupted.
“We had hornets in the statue,” Pálková says. “I suspect that the thieves were probably attacked by them, as the hives were strewn far away from the pedestal – as if the thieves tried to throw them as far as possible.” However, no hornet attack was reported in nearby hospitals.
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