Feburary 2019 | Sharon Webb
THE MAN who dreamed up Deloraine’s Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail wants residents to keep their eyes open for thieves following the theft of a valuable bronze Tasmanian Devil. Greg Murray said he has reported the theft to police and is disgusted that anyone would steal the devil. “It doesn’t just hurt me because of what the cultural trail means to me personally but it leaves a nasty taste in the mouths of locals and visitors,” he said.
Greg said he last saw the sculpture when he pointed it out to visitors around 9.00am on Friday 25th January. When he was on the riverbank at 2.00pm the following day it was gone. “This theft comes after someone tried to steal one of the muttonbirds last year – also on a Friday night,” he said. The bronze devil was smaller than lifesize, weighing 10-15kg and about 50cm in length. The Kooparoona Niara Cultural Trail project was funded by State Government, Bendigo Bank and Meander Valley Council grants. The Golden Valley artist who created the riverbank bronzes, John Parish, said the thief may have used power tools to remove the devil because it was anchored by three metal rods into a stump with fiberglass resin.
The devil theft follows the recent theft of a to-scale replica letterbox at the grainstore building in Parsonage St. Owner Richard Dunlop said: “They must have really wanted it; they would have needed a power tool because it was bolted to stone. “I imagine it will turn up at Evandale Market or on Gumtree. You can’t underestimate human inventiveness when it comes to making money.”