Every year since 1966, the people of Gävle, Sweden, have erected a giant straw goat to celebrate Christmas. This year was special, as it was the 50th anniversary edition of the goat. However, in many of those years, the goat became a victim of arson.
The goat is traditionally constructed in late November or early December, and from that point on, it’s just a waiting game to see when vandals will strike. Various protections have been put in place and tried out over the years including adding a perimeter fence, covering the goat in coating of flame retardant, employing security cameras, and having the goat personally guarded by volunteers. But no matter how the city tries to preserve the goat, it usually manages to get set on fire.
The completed 13-meter-tall goat was unveiled on Sunday afternoon. By 11 that night, it was in flames. The perpetrators struck while two security guards were in the restroom and a third was on the opposite side of the goat.
Oh no, such a short amount of time with you my friends. But I shall rise from the ashes and see you next year again!— Gävlebocken (@Gavlebocken) November 27, 2016
The Gävle goat didn't even make it an entire day. A movement is underway to get the goat rebuilt before Christmas.