Newham mascot sculpture stolen

A bronze sculpture of a pig has been stolen from the wall outside the Newham General Store.
The little bronze porker has graced the Newham village centre since 2010 and was removed sometime overnight last Thursday.
It appears thieves levered up a 200kg capstone to remove bolts anchoring the sculpture to the wall.
Nicknamed Chin-Chin, the pig was donated by local jeweller and wall builder Roy Martin as part of a program of streetscape improvements conducted by the community at that time, with the support of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council.
“The mould was made from an antique porcelain money box I picked up in France many years ago,” Mr Martin said. “We cast it in bronze to be a sort of mascot for the community and as a historical gesture towards the bacon factory that was the centre of the village economy back in the late 1800s.”
The little pig has attracted plenty of attention over the years, featuring in plenty of tourists’ snapshots as they stop at the store and becoming a firm favourite with local children who play on the wall after school.
It also had a prominent role to play in the village’s mammoth Pig Festival of 2014, when it was used as the template for 10 life-size fibreglass sculptures, which were decorated by well-known local artists and auctioned to raise funds for the Very Special Kids Woodend Project.
The image of the pig is widely used by community groups as a logo, appearing on a variety of merchandise such as aprons and local preserves labels.
“We’re pretty devastated that it’s been taken,” Mr Martin said.
“It’s very much a part of our identity now and locals have grown very attached to our little pig. We’d appreciate if it was returned, no questions asked.”
Meanwhile, police are on the lookout. The pig weighs approximately 6kg. It is 450cm long and 22cm high.
A small bronze mushroom was also taken and an accompanying bronze snail was stolen some years ago. Anyone with information can contact local police or Roy Martin on 0411 611 417.

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