Quirky Bunny on Mandela Statue Causes Stir

South African officials want a sculpted rabbit removed from a statue of Nelson Mandela.

Posted: 01/22/2014 11:21 AM EST

 (Photo: AP)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A new, 9-meter (29.5-foot) sculpture of Nelson Mandela is billed as the biggest statue of the former South African leader. It also has a tiny quirk: a sculpted rabbit tucked inside one of the bronze ears.

South African officials said Wednesday that they want the rabbit removed from the statue, which was unveiled outside the government complex in Pretoria, the capital, on Dec. 16, a day after Mandela's funeral.

South Africa's department of arts and culture says it didn't know the two sculptors had added a rabbit, said to be a discreet signature on their work.

Mogomotsi Mogodiri, a department spokesman, says the statue "represents what everyone in South Africa is proud of," and the rabbit must go.

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