Friday, 27 November 2020

Well, it was more or less inevitable, when you think about it

Almost four years ago now, in a semi-mock confused and somewhat curmudgeonly way, I wrote a piece about the unveiling of a statue of Ferenc Puskas out the back of Gosch's Paddock.

At the time I noted that the entire concept of the statue - its provenance, its reasoning, its design, its location - was so out of sync with what Puskas meant to Melbourne, that the only vaguely meaningful part of the enterprise was the fact that they placed the statue in the obscurity of the bushes beside a goat track. 

Since then, the Budapest bid for the 2024 Olympic Games - for which reason the statue was commissioned and given as a "gift" to Victoria from the government of Hungary - was withdrawn well before the voting for 2024 got to its final stage.

Considering the Victorian government didn't even want the statue, the supposed "avenue of champions" that was to see more statues commissioned and placed within the vicinity of the Puskas piece, has not yet materialised. To which I say "I am shocked, shocked! Well, not that shocked", as the kids like to meme.

Meanwhile, the statue itself has not fared well, as seen in this tweet by SM Pete

which shows not only the statue looking quite the worse for wear, but also that the plaque that was on the plinth has gone missing. One assumes that it was stolen by someone, for who knows what reason. Considering the out-of-the-way location of the statue, and the restrictions on movement around the city due to the pandemic, who knows for sure when the plaque even vanished?

At any rate, the unseemly state of Puskas' statue has fired up parts of our supporter base, who are petitioning members of the state government to relocate the statue to Lakeside. I wish those activists well in their quest for statue justice, though it might help their cause a little if they knew about how the statue came about - and that for once it was not a failure of the Club that saw things turn out the way they have. 

Yes, there is a first time for everything. And I also forgive those people for not reading about the story of the statue on the one place that reported on it.

It's been my understanding for some time now that there has been provision made for a South Melbourne Hellas statue to take up a spot outside Lakeside Stadium, opposite the statue of South Melbourne Swans champion Bob Skilton, assuming we could find someone to stump up the cash to craft such a thing. 

Since that's unlikely to happen anytime soon, there are worse solutions to this sorry saga than to move the Puskas statue to the spot which has been allotted for a possible future Hellas statue.

1 comment:

  1. Having a statue of a far superior player (Puskas) to your standard Hellas 'star', is appropriate considering most of our 'latent' supporters refuse to indulge their time in watching lower grade 'slop'. :)


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