Australia is known to be the land of ‘big things’. From the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, the Big Merino in Goulburn, or the Big Guitar in Tamworth, there is over 150 big things around Australia. The novelty sculptures were built from 1960s as tourist attractions and have developed into a famous phenomenon, or at least an excuse for a road trip.
Over the weekend, the Big Mango was stolen during a late night heist from the small Queensland town of Bowen and has drawn media attention from around the world. The 3-storey tall, 10-ton sculpture was removed with the use of a heavy machinery crane and left many people baffled. The bizarre event attracted nationwide news coverage to the mango-producing capital of Australia and the big mango has since been located in bushes behind the Bowen Tourist Information Centre.
Paul Mclaughlin, Bowen Tourism board chairman revealed that he had truthfully stated that he was not involved in the disappearance of the sculpture, however he was in on the plan. Once it was found uncovered, he admitted that it was staged PR stunt and the culprit was a local fast food restaurant.
In a statement, the management team of the fast food restaurant, Nandos said they promised to “take good care of the mango, and would return it to its rightful position soonish.”
As a result of the stunt, Bowen has attracted worldwide media attention, particularly online where the story went viral on social media. It definitely positively promoted the town on a large scale in a way that advertising could have never achieved. Well played Bowen, well played.