A statue of former Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic was vandalised on Sunday after the culprits sawed off the ankles. The statue, located outside Ibrahimovic’s Swedish hometown of Malmo, had previously its nose cut off after Ibrahimovic invested in a rival club in December.
According to a report in the BBC Sport, the damage was discovered at 3.30am local time on Sunday, and there was graffiti reading “take away”, written in Swedish, next to the statue. An official of the Malmo council’s sport and recreation department informed that the statue has been taken away for repairs and will be installed back in the same place.
“I can understand that many people are disappointed in Zlatan’s behaviour, but vandalising a statute is simply unworthy. Better to express your dissatisfaction in a democratic way,” Malmo deputy mayor Frida Trollmyr was quoted as saying by AFP on Sunday.
Besides sawing off the nose, the 3.5-metre bronze structure was sprayed with paint, set on fire and had a toilet seat put over its arm after it was announced that Ibrahimovic had bought 25% of the shares in Hammarby.
Earlier in October last year, police erected a fence around the statue, which was unveiled in October 2019, to prevent any such vandalism after an attempt to saw through its feet in December.
This is not the first time that the 38-year-old Ibrahimovic has fallen prey to public anger. His house in Stockholm was also vandalised, with “Judas” painted on the front door. The statue’s artist Peter Linde has previously appealed for people to stop the vandalism.
Ibrahimovic, who has played for Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain, Manchester United and LA Galaxy, recently was signed up by AC Milan. He is expected to make his second debut for the Serie A side on Monday when they host Sampdoria.