In brief

Kazakhstan Takes Down Statue Ridiculed as "Hobbit Selfie"

Kazakhstan removed this statue after only one day when locals compared the figures to two hobbits taking a selfie. Photo: via YK.kz.

Kazakhstan removed this statue after locals compared the figures to two hobbits taking a selfie.
Photo: via YK.kz.

Hobbits, those charmingly diminutive denizens of Middle Earth, are known to enjoy a few simple pleasures: living in holes, eating a second breakfast, smoking pipe weed, and, if a Kazakhstani statue is to be believed, taking selfies. According to the BBC, local officials removed a public sculpture just one day after its installation when residents took to social media, comparing the two figures to a pair of hobbits photographing themselves with an iPhone.

Meant to depict local author and educator Abai Qunanbaiuli and Russian exile Yevgeny Mikhaelis, a scientist and supporter of democracy, two 19th-century historical figures, the statue was sculpted in part by Vladimir Samoylov. However, the Kazakh government claimed in an interview with Tengri News that the piece "deviated from the agreed design."

For his part, Samoylov isn't exactly defending his handiwork, telling YK.kz that "we were in a huge rush, and look what happened."

As reported by Complex, the statue is now being corrected and will soon be back on display, like a real-life version of There and Back Again.

This isn't the first fantasy-themed statue (at least by appearances) to meet its demise this week. As artnet News reported on Tuesday, New Zealanders tore down a monument to King Joffrey as part of a social media campaign for the popular Game of Thrones television show. Other bizarre statues in the news lately include Poland's peeing Vladimir Lenin, which replaced a more conventional statue of the man that was removed after the fall of Communism (see artnet News report).