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January 28, 2010

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Phone girl statue gets hurt again

ONE of the city's most well-known statues - a girl speaking on a public phone - has been damaged again.

It was found lying on its side early yesterday morning, broken in half.

What caused the damage is still unclear, according to Luwan District police.

They are checking security cameras and seeking witnesses.

No parts of the bronze statue were missing, police said.

The statue of the girl was found lying by the sidewalk beside her telephone stand at the intersection of Huaihai Road M. and Maoming Road S. Her body was broken into two parts at the waist.

"The statue was just fine last night," said a traffic assistant surnamed Xu.

The statue, near the Metro's Shaanxi Road S. station, was created in 1996 by He Yong, of the Shanghai Oil Painting and Sculpture Institute, but has had an unfortunate history.

In 1998, the statue was found pulled down by thieves who had failed to remove it.

Two years later, it was stolen by two junk collectors from other provinces and it took the police four years to solve the case.

The thieves were later sentenced to 10 and 12 years imprisonment.

In 2006, the "phone" was taken by people unknown.


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