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Master of Scaremonies
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Thieves give figurine the unkindest cut

Thu Sep 21, 11:41 PM ET

Masked thieves armed with a chisel stole the penis of a wooden Maori figurine, or tiki, at the entrance of a public library in northern New Zealand, police said.

Security cameras captured pictures of three masked men using the chisel to remove the tiki's penis early on Sunday morning. The figurine is one of two indigenous Maori designs that stand on "pou" or posts astride the entrance to the library in Whangarei.

Carver Kerry Strongman said the theft had damaged the "mana" or pride of the city.

Strongman said he would begin work immediately on a carving that would restore the tiki to its original state.

Police said they were at a loss to explain the theft, particularly as a nearby statue of Tangaroa, the Maori god of the sea, was better endowed.

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