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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Don’t know how I’ll replace rare statue, says Cockermouth shop boss

The owner of a rare statue of a barber has spoken about his disgust after thieves stole the lifesize monument from outside his Cockermouth shop.

Black statue photo
Amir Jojo with the statue

Related: Appeal after 'tourist attraction' statue stolen from Cumbrian street

Richard Jojo was devastated after the statue of a black singing barber, which he named Walter, was swiped from the pavement at the Original Barber Company on Market Place.

He launched an appeal to get Walter back less than 24 hours after the theft and hopes that the person responsible will fell shamed into returning it.

“He has been much loved by the public in Cockermouth. He is very popular with customers and tourists – people always stop to have their picture taken with him,” said Mr Jojo. “We are all so upset that this terrible thing has happened.”

Walter was originally placed outside of the Cockermouth shop when it opened three years ago.

He was taken to Keswick two years later to stand outside of the new branch of the barbers and was only returned back to his original place a week ago following pleas from customers.

“Everyone was so glad when we brought him back,” said Mr Jojo. “A lot of customers are very disappointed and upset about what’s happened.

“A lot of people have told me how upset they are and he’s only been gone a day.

“I’m annoyed and its not because of the money, I’m upset because he was so popular and I don’t know how I’ll replace him.”

Walter, made out of molded fibreglass, is a very rare traditional statue of a New Orleans barber.

Mr Jojo said that there are only eight of them in the world and he will be impossible to replace.

Police are examining CCTV footage which shows a man running towards Bitterbeck car park with Walter under his arm at 12.40am on Thursday.

And Mr JoJo is stunned that whoever took the statue managed to carry him as he is a lifesize statue, measuring nearly 6ft.

“It must have killed him to carry him as he isn’t light,” he said.

“It would have been a struggle.

“I think somebody has done this maliciously because if it was a prank there would have been a ransom note or something.

“Whoever has taken him won’t be able to sell it as everyone will know its mine.”

Mr Jojo recently jazzed Walter up as he used to have navy blue trousers – but he painted these red to bring a bit of life to him.

Posters have been put up in and around the barber shop asking people to keep a look out for Walter.

Anyone with information should call police on 101.

Have your say

Whatever happens please don't return that thing to the US, it took a lot of work to ship that garbage out of the country, we don't want it back!

Posted by Hank the Concerned Yank on 26 June 2012 at 02:25

I see walter is back in cockermouth.

Posted by percy on 25 June 2012 at 20:11

View all 12 comments on this article

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