Thursday, November 19, 2009
Creepy Santa is 'every child's worst nightmare'
Before the 'facelift'
'Too creepy': Santa Claus in his bandages
A controversial giant Santa Claus decoration has been reinstalled in Auckland's city centre to the horror of some locals who say it is "too creepy".
The 20-metre-high fibreglass Santa has been attached to the side of a book shop in Queen Street over Christmas for almost 50 years.
But it has undergone major cosmetic surgery after Aucklanders complained his smile looked sinister and his beckoning finger was scaring children.
Last year, the Santa had broken apart and been stuck together with what looked like a giant band-aid.
It has been under the knife for the past four months, with Santa's face currently wrapped in white bandages that are due to be removed on Sunday.
But some locals say the bandages are creepier than the old face, with one mother looking up at the decoration saying: "This is every child's worst nightmare".
American tourist Edward said he could not believe his eyes when he saw Santa's face covered by bandages.
"Santa in bondage. It's a very funny thing. They just couldn't wait to bring it out," he said.
"He does look kind of sad up there, doesn't he?"
Aucklander Phil McGrath said he had just finished his banking when he noticed the face.
"He looks like he's had botox. A bit of plastic surgery for Santa this year," he said.
"[The old Santa's] eyes were freaky, very scary. I remember taking my niece and she looked up and started crying."
The bandages come off on Sunday and Mr McGrath says he is going to come down to watch the unveiling.
"What they should do is reveal it strap by strap... on the TV programs, they are bruised and battered, that's what they should do with Santa."