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€500 bounty for Big Potato vandals

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Xylofagou local council is offering €500 to anyone who can provide information regarding the vandalism of its landmark ‘Big Potato’ monument, said community leader George Tasou.

The Famagusta village is determined to get to the bottom of the case, seeing their four-metre testament to the potato sprayed with football slogans related to Anorthosis Famagusta FC.

Talking to TV station Alpha, Tasou said he had reported the incident to the British Bases police.

He is offering €500 to anyone who can provide information to locate the perpetrators.

The community, he said, was planning on installing a surveillance system to protect the so-called Big Potato.

He also said that plans include illuminating the monument for Christmas.

In October, the community erected the Big Potato, a replica of the ‘spunta’ (seed potato) variety, sparking mixed reactions from locals and tourists.

The Big Potato in Xylofagou has had locals up in arms after the village’s homage went viral on social media, attracting unflattering comments about the odd-looking eyesore.

The local council received dozens of complaints from angry residents, demanding the statue be brought down, as it defames the village.

Most critics say the four-metre-tall object looks nothing like a potato but a giant sex toy or worse.

Tasou, a former MP for ruling DISY, defended the potato sculpture, noting it pays homage to the main product of the area’s ‘red soil’ villages.

“I wanted this potato to become a point of reference in the community, and I am glad as the defamation taking place is actually the best advertisement for us.

“I am sure that all those who criticize the work will come here to be photographed with the potato,” Tasou said last month.

He invited people to take photos of the Big Potato to attract more visitors to the village.

Sure enough, the potato monument has attracted scores of curious sightseers who visited the village to photograph the controversial monument.

It is also now stained with unwanted graffiti.