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Borås, Sweden

Walking to Boras

A colossal strolling Pinocchio that was greeted with more outrage than whimsy. 

American artist Jim Dine is best known for his often life-size sculptures of the sculpture-turned-real-boy Pinocchio, and none of his fairy tale figures are larger than the one entitled, Walking to Borås, and none created such local backlash either.

The towering boy was unveiled in 2008 after a construction and design bill in excess of $11 million (U.S.). Forever in confident stride across the city of Borås, Sweden, Dine’s outdoor brass installation would seem to be a welcome piece of contemporary decoration, but the initial outcry against the figure nearly halted its construction altogether. Among the local complaints regarding the statue were its rich price tag, the implication of American imperialism thanks to the character’s Disney associations, and very simply that the piece had nothing to do with the city of Borås. However, despite the initial controversy, the statue was voted into being by the city council and stands to this day, straddling public opinion, which is also still divided by the massive wooden boy.  

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