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Game over for this year's Gävle Christmas goat

Game over for this year's Gävle Christmas goat

Published: 13 Dec 2012 07:13 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Dec 2012 07:13 GMT+01:00

Arsonists managed to burn this year's edition of the iconic Gävle Christmas goat to the ground just before midnight on Wednesday.

When emergency services reached the scene the straw structure had already been completely destroyed by the fire. No one was hurt in the blaze.

The site in central Gävle has been cordoned off and police have opened an investigation into vandalism.

CLICK HERE FOR A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BURNING GOAT

"We haven't arrested anyone," Gävle police duty officer Johan Fredriksson told the TT news agency.

"Personally, I think this is a shame. It's fun that the goat is so famous but it would also be nice if it could be left alone," he said.

Meanwhile, Eje Berglund, chairman of the Gävle goat committee, explains that it's not just the curiosity of Gävle residents that is piqued when it comes to their iconic straw goat.

“There’s an enormous interest worldwide in this goat. Of course, the fact that it burns down contributes to this as people want to see if it will stay standing or not,” he told the TT newsagency.

“So it’s even a kind of an advert when it’s on fire. But we do want it to stay standing as long as possible.”

CCTV footage showed as many as three or four potential suspects prowling around the goat minutes before it went up in flames.

The police do not know how the arsonists managed to set fire to the goat, as the fire brigade had hosed it down earlier in the evening and it would have frozen almost instantly.

The goat's ghostwriter wrote on its merjuligavle.se blog, in somewhat broken goat English:

"I'm sorry to say that tonight at midnight someone couldn't keep their fingers away. I suddently woked up, It became awfully hot I noticed that I was on fire!"

"The last hour was here!"

The goat expressed its regret at missing Christmas, but promised to be back strong again for the 47th time next year.

Calls made by The Local to Gävle municipality for comment were not immediately returned.

TT/The Local/at

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Your comments about this article

10:54 December 13, 2012 by eppie
They have to build it attached to a shopping mall, or a big apartment building: that way nobody will burn it down because it would be too dangerous.

Or they have to spread the rumour that its inside is filled with dynamite.....I wouldn't take the chance.....
21:36 December 13, 2012 by Woww
HAHA! I commented on this in the "hot on the hooves" story about a week ago. Wow, maybe someone used my idea. This tradition cracks me up...seriously, I knwo in the end it probably upsets people, but literally it cracks me up that this keeps happening! Something to look forward to reading about each year around this time of year.
23:08 December 14, 2012 by Mbenzi
They are not serious about this.

It is a piece of cake to protect it. I once suggested how to do it, 2-3 years later they did it, and the goat did not catch fire that year.

I find it strange that the police agrees to pretend that they try to stop the arsons, because now it instead points at the lousy quality of the Swedish police.
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