According to media reports, the Swedish city of Malmö has moved the statue of soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, located outside the stadium of the local soccer club, to a new location after repeated sabotage of the statue.
And the newspaper “Sid Svenska An” reported on Saturday that the city council of Sweden’s third-largest city would take a decision on Monday and seek proposals from the Malmö team on where the statue will be moved later During this year.
But club CEO Niklas Carlin told the newspaper that he was unaware of the city’s plans and would not comment on the matter.
The 500-kilogram bronze statue of Ibrahimovic, who now plays for Milan, was unveiled in October amidst a sensation outside the Malmö stadium to celebrate one of Sweden’s greatest athletes.
The statue, made by sculptor Peter Lind, is three meters tall and the football star appears naked, opening his arms.
The construction of the statue cost around 500,000 Swedish crowns. ($ 50,000), with an annual maintenance cost of 15,000 crowns, paid by Malmö.
The statue has been vandalized several times. While spray-painted and threatening letters written, he was dropped and his nose and ankles were cut.
The sabotage started after it was revealed that Ibrahimovic had an interest in Hammarby, Stockholm and that he was Malmö’s most important competitor.
Ibrahimovic, 38, began his career at Malmö in the late 1990s, in the city where he was born.
The statue, with the exception of the red granite legs, was removed in early January for repair and has remained secret since then.
Fans and “opponents of the player” have suggested that he be transferred to Stockholm, where Ibrahimovic has property and the headquarters of the Swedish Football Association, which bears the cost of manufacturing the statue.