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Bac Kan Authorities Blame 12-Year-Old Boy for Breaking $616,000 Sculpture

A 12-year-old boy has been blamed for allegedly breaking part of a US$616,000 stone statue in the northern province of Bac Kan.

VnExpress reports that last Wednesday a chunk of the 'Bac Kan Victory' sculpture – which depicts two soldiers, two adults and one child in triumphant poses – fell off. Kim Dong, the child in the statue and a famous heroic character in Vietnamese history, now has no upper body.

Luong Van Tran, the 12-year-old in question, was playing around the sculpture with a group of friends when he decided to climb up the work. When he grabbed Kim Dong, the top half of the stone boy detached from the rest of the monument. Tran was slightly injured in the incident.

Sculptor Nguyen Thanh Danh told Zing that the sculpture wasn't constructed from a whole slab of stone, but separate layers of Ninh Binh basalt that were joined together. Danh believes that the boy and his family is to blame for the breakage.

"In other countries, climbing on public statues could get you fined. Vietnam also forbids these actions," he shared with the news source in Vietnamese. "However, many local people don't respect that and keep touching, climbing on sculptures just to take photos for social media.

Ha Van Truong, the provincial tourism chief, blamed the mishap on Tran, Tuoi Tre shares. He claimed that poor weather may have weakened the statue, which then fell apart when force was applied.

Needless to say, members of the public haven't been impressed by this explanation. Some have questioned the quality of the pricey monument, which was built in a very poor province. Others, according to the news source, have joked that Tran must have superhuman strength in order to break a piece of stone.

[Photo via Tuoi Tre and Tam Nhin]


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