March 23, 2023

A business owner is furious after the council demanded that he remove a 30-foot gold gladiator statue from outside his shop after a single “killjoy” complained it was obscene.

Grant Adamson, 57, said it was a “sad day” when the statue of a Roman icon was demolished on Tuesday.

The owner of the vintage shop claims visitors loved the monument in Ince, Greater Manchester, but believed it had been given the boot by council heads.

He claimed a man complained about the nudity leading to a “building permit dispute.”

Grant Adamson, 57, said it was a “sad day” when the statue of a Roman icon was demolished on Tuesday. (Pictured: the gold nude is removed)

Mr Adamson, who runs Grant’s Bulldog Forge, defended the statue, claiming ‘if it had been put down by Michelangelo, I’d let everyone in the world watch it’.

Social media users have reacted to the loss of the shiny statue, according to Adamson.

Wigan Council said it had been in contact with the landowner and not Mr Adamson, who posted the image in June.

The 57-year-old from Scarisbrick, Lancashire, said: ‘It was a sad day’ [when it was taken away].

“He’s not hung properly, he gets a lot of talk about the size of his manhood. I really don’t understand people whining.

“When I first drafted it, we had a few people saying ‘what’s that?’ One woman said she drove to Wigan and all she could see was a big golden ass.

‘I said ‘wait until you go the other way’. It was a good topic of conversation.

“The complaint I had was from a guy about four weeks ago, I thought he was a shopper, he came in and went ‘that golden man, it’s obscene, it needs to move’.

My colleague and I looked at each other as if to say ‘is he turning us on?’

“There are many things the council could look at instead of taking a poor old gold man.”

He added: “It’s been there since June. My landlord got the image from somewhere.

“It’s been in storage for years and then he kept telling me ‘the goldman must appear’ [so] it came out in June. It’s been there since June, but the day it came out I took pictures and put them on Facebook and everyone laughed.

“There have even been people on the property taking selfies and asking us to take a picture with him.

“It’s been difficult. We started the business three years ago, then there was the lockdown, then we went back to work and then we got locked up again.

“He’s been a tourist attraction, it’s been good for the business, people know there’s ‘the goldman’ there.

Mr Adamson (pictured) said: ‘The complaint I had was from a chap about four weeks ago, I thought he was a shopper, he came in and went ‘that gold man it’s obscene, it needs to be moved’ .

“It was good for the store, it was also a place where I could direct people to the store – I could say ‘take the next left at the goldman’.

‘I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of people’ [on social media] say ‘it’s not okay’ and when they enter Wigan a smile appears on their face.

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“People in Wigan are going crazy.”

The landlord arranged for its removal on Monday, but Mr Adamson is hopeful it will be restored.

He added: “I have a friend who comes in with his three-year-old grandson. They use the cafe in the shop and he? [the child] says he’s going to “check to see if the goldman is there.”

“That’s just one – I have a lot of people with children who come in smiling. Looks like a bummer ruined it for everyone.

“When he comes back, it will cheer me up and help with business. I’m making some cups with him on them, whatever we get we’ll give it to Wigan Hospice.’

A spokesman for the Wigan Council said: ‘The council has been in contact with the landowner regarding the need for the relevant building permit for the statue.

“The image was removed very recently and therefore the Council is now considering its next steps according to normal procedures.”

People on social media flooded the store’s post with comments about the statue’s loss.

Someone wrote: ‘I wonder if Wigan Council officials would object to Michelangelo’s statue of David? Or maybe even some of the paintings in the Sistine Chapel or even Michelangelo’s ceiling, lots of nudes.’

Another commented: ‘I’ve lost my evening giggles to work in awe of his pert bum, he’s gotten me through some sometimes grueling 12-hour night shifts.

‘Then the sight of his beautifully crafted Crown Jewels on the way home. Farewell, beautiful golden Adonis.’

Someone wrote: ‘I will miss seeing the golden bum shine when I drive by to go to the hairdresser. He always brightens up my morning.’

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Another commented, ‘What’s the problem? I’m sure of it [the] council should have more serious things than this statue if you like it look at it if you don’t walk past it. It will not hurt.’