Town settles row over Pinocchio statue

A Swedish town council approved the erection of a large bronze statue of Pinocchio after a four-hour debate in the council chamber of Thursday night.

The controversial statue proposal has split the town into two camps. According to local newspaper Borås Tidning, 40 councillors voted for the statue, 28 voted against and five abstained.

Pinocchio, created by Italian author Carlo Collodi, is an animated wooden puppet whose nose grows if he lies. The 1940 Disney film of the same name was illustrated by Swede Gustaf Tenggren, who came from nearby Alingsås, and in whose honour the statue is to be raised.

The idea of the 8.5 metre Borås Pinocchio statue came from American pop-artist Jim Dine. Dine has a special interest in the Pinocchio story, according to local politicians. He once visited Borås, and is said to have been particularly taken with the town.

A group of local people have banded together to raise 8.5 million kronor ($1.2 million) to get the statue to Borås. The council would contribute 1 million kronor to cover the cost of erecting Pinocchio on Allégatan in the town.

The statue is expected to be in place next spring.