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Swedish town seeks to protect straw goat

  |   Dec. 3, 2012 at 5:25 PM
GAVLE, Sweden, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A Swedish city is employing private security to protect its traditional four-story-tall straw goat from arsonists.

Wellington Ikuobase, who was elected Gavle Resident of The Year and was in charge of christening this year's 42 1/2-foot-tall goat, said someone tried to light it on fire Saturday prior to its official inauguration, The Local.se reported Monday.

"The front hoof smells of petrol," organizer Eje Berglund said at the Sunday inauguration.

The goat has been a popular target for vandals and arsonists in recent years.

The city, which first adopted the Christmas goat tradition in 1966, has hired private security guards to protect the straw sculpture.

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