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The myth of the golden bust in Royal Park

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Rhonda Dredge

The girls were out flaunting at Royal Park in July enjoying the winter sun and the view.

One was a golden bust who appeared mysteriously one Saturday morning.

She was gone three days later, removed by council workers.

Even her pole was gone, leaving a dug-up area at the intersection of two paths as the only trace of her presence.

The bust of a lady in her classical pose is still remembered by park-goers, as the act of an unknown artist active in the area.

“I’ve heard of something similar in Northcote,” said Mark, a daily visitor to the park who remembers exactly when she appeared.

“She went covertly up on Friday after 6pm,” he said. “We always come here and stop after our walk.”

The statue was there the following morning, he said. “My dog growled at it, a statue with its arms up. When I touched it she was accepting.”

The presence of the golden bust was noted fleetingly by the artsy crowd who walk their dogs in the area and by a picture posted online.

Town planner Matt Garner remembered seeing her around three weeks ago.

“She seemed smallish at first. I wasn’t sure if I’d missed her previously. She might have been there for ages.”

He said there was a pretty compelling argument for thought-provoking art in public spaces.

She wasn’t that big she would have created a public liability, he said.

Lily Hart never saw the golden bust, but she doesn’t mind.

“Maybe it’s more interesting that she’s not there anymore. Now this is a mystery, the golden-like sculpture. It’s mythical. Was it there or was it part of your imagination?” •

Caption: Lily Hart inspired by the mystery.

Caption: Mark’s dog Dabel shows where the bust once stood.

Caption: The statue before it was removed.

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