NO HEAD: The Nick Shand statue at Mullumbimby was decapitated in January and has since been removed by the council.
NO HEAD: The Nick Shand statue at Mullumbimby was decapitated in January and has since been removed by the council.

Headless statue stirs concern

By DOMINIC FEAIN dominic.feain@northernstar.com.au BYRON SHIRE residents concerned about the recent removal of the vandalised Nicholas Shand statue can rest assured it will be repaired and reinstalled.

Council's manager of works Angelo Casagrande said there was extensive damage to the statue of the founding editor of the Byron Shire and Northern Rivers Echoes, who passed away in 1996.

"We're working closely with the sculptor to restore the statue ... we want to keep it at the same location (outside the council chambers) and are hoping there won't be a repeat of the vandalism," he said.

"Some people might not know the full history of Nick and what he represents to the community.

"We are monitoring the area and if there is further vandalism we may have to look at relocating the statue to a more appropriate location."

The statue, expected to be fixed by April, has been the target of repeated attacks, culminating in extensive damage in January.

A co-worker and friend of Nick's, Jennie Dell, was disappointed with the damage, but stressed that Nick understood the motivations of such acts.

"Nicky knew about the poor and disaffected youth who might feel so separated from life and their community as to commit such senseless acts of vandalism," she said.

"He would have had compassion for them.

"He had the capacity to be beloved of all sections of the community from the elite to the down-and-out.

"The irony is he was such an iconoclast he would have hooted at the very thought a statue of him in Mullumbimby."

"Still, all of us who Nicky left behind want reminders of him we want to cuddle up with him and tell him what's wrong," Ms Dell said.

"That's who he was and that was the idea of the statue."

Echo publisher David Lovejoy said it was a shame the statue couldn't be cast in bronze. "I mean, I loved the man," he said.

"It said 'sit down and tell me something' because that was what Nick was like."



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