Wednesday, July 05, 2006

the Coast's Golden Fisherman

Golden Fisherman, pre-Katrina(After being knocked to the ground by Hurricane Katrina, the "Golden Fisherman" was recently stolen. Much to the relief of us Coastians, the statue was soon recovered.)

"The Fisherman is sort of like the city itself," Biloxi-mayor Holloway said. "It's bruised and beaten up, but it's not destroyed. We've lost so many landmarks, so many pieces of our history, that it's important that we now have it back. This is not about a statue, per se. This is a tribute to the thousands of people who made Biloxi the seafood capital of the world, and to those who work in this important industry today. It’s about Biloxi—past, present and future."

Holloway commended the Biloxi Police Department for its efforts in the case, and he also noted that a number of local and out-of-town individuals and business owners have offered to help in any future plans the city has involving the Golden Fisherman. The city-owned statue, which weighed more than a ton and once stood more than 17 feet tall, had been stolen from Point Cadet Plaza sometime Saturday night or early Sunday morning. The golden figure of a beak-nosed fisherman, with outstretched arms hoisting a castnet, had been damaged and knocked off its pedestal by Hurricane Katrina.

prostrate Golden FishermanAlthough known as the Golden Fisherman, the hollow statue was believed to be constructed of phosphor bronzes, or tin bronzes, which are alloys containing copper, tin and phosphorous, which resisted corrosion. Ocean Springs artist Harry Reeks, who the city commissioned to create the statue in 1975, also used melted-down winches and cleats and other fixtures that had been donated from local shrimp boats. Said Holloway: "It had no huge value as far as precious metals, but it was precious to those families and to this community."