City of Malmo set to relocate vandalized Ibrahimovic statue

National Sports Headlines

FILE – In this Sunday Jan. 5, 2020 file photo, the damaged statue of soccer player Zlatan Ibrahimovic next to Stadion football arena in Malmo, Sweden. Media reports say the city of Malmo has had enough of repeated acts of vandalism on Swedish soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s statue outside the local football club’s stadium and is set to move it to a new location. The Sydsvenskan newspaper said the municipal council in Sweden’s third largest city is poised to make a decision on Monday, May 17, 2020 and is seeking suggestions from top-flight team Malmo FF as to where the statue should be moved later in the year.(Johan Nilsson/TT via AP, file)

The city of Malmo has had enough of repeated acts of vandalism on soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s statue outside the local football club’s stadium and is set to move it to a new location, according to media reports.

The Sydsvenskan newspaper said Saturday that the municipal council in Sweden’s third largest city is poised to make a decision on Monday and is seeking suggestions from top-flight team Malmo FF as to where the statue should be moved later in the year.

However, the club’s CEO Niclas Carlnen told the newspaper he wasn’t aware of the city’s plans and wouldn’t comment on the matter.

The 500-kilogram (1,100-pound) bronze statue of Ibrahimovic, who now plays for AC Milan, was unveiled in October to much fanfare outside Malmo FF’s stadium, commemorating one of Sweden’s greatest sportsmen.

Created by sculptor Peter Linde, the statue is three meters (9-feet-10) tall and shows the football star standing bare chested with open arms.

It cost 500,000 Swedish kronor ($50,000) to build, with estimated annual maintenance costs of 15,000 kronor paid by the city of Malmo.

The statue has been vandalized numerous times. It has been sprayed with paint and messages, been overturned and had its nose and ankles sawn off.

The vandalism began after it was revealed that Ibrahimovic had become a part-owner in Hammarby IF, a Stockholm-based club and a rival to Malmo FF.

Ibrahimovic, 38, began his career with Malmo FF in the late 1990s in the city where he was born.

The statue, excluding its red granite feet, was removed in early January for repairs and has been kept in a secret location ever since.

Fans and foes have suggested it should be relocated to Stockholm, where Ibrahimovic owns property and where the Swedish soccer association, which commissioned the statue, is based.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

StormTracker 8

Trending Stories

More Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Local Events