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Monday, 23rd August 2010
In General Japan News,

Japan 'evicts Statue of Liberty'

Japanese officials have ordered the removal of a six-metre replica Statue of Liberty.

The statue, purchased via eBay, was originally installed outside a shop in Hakodate in Northern Japan but complaints started immediately.

AFP reports the steel copy has now been lifted in to place on top of a two-storey wholesale cab shop in a special ceremony led by a Shinto priest.

Speaking to Japanese media, the shop owner, Yoichi Kitamura, explained that he has been forced to move the statue because city officials felt it did not comply with local conservation rules.

Mr Kitamura added: "Tourism is declining in Hakodate and I had thought the statue could be an ideal catalyst...It will be surely standing somewhere next year."

So far, tourists appear keen for the statue to remain, with messages being left on the statue appealing for it to move back to street level.

The original Statue of Liberty was a gift of friendship from the French nation to the US and is 93 metres high.

Written by Mark Smith.

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