An infamous Mr Potato Head statue has returned to Belper after a long absence.
The statue, which is over 7ft high, was handed to Belper by its American twin town Pawtuckeet, Rhode Island back in 2001 as a gift.
However, its presence certainly divided opinion in the town and it wasn’t long before the statue was the target of vandalism.
Andrea Fox, founder of local youth group the Drop Inn, says the statue re-emerged a few weeks ago.
“It was originally sent over as a sign of friendship and was shipped in a crate that was specially built,” Andrea told the Belper News.
“It was in a few places such as the island near Morrison’s and near to the fire station.
“It was always in the news and was certainly a marmite subject around here.
“It then got moved to the American Adventure theme park.”
However, the theme park was closed in 2007 and the statue wasn’t seen after that.
That was until it mysteriously turned up outside the Drop Inn’s premises, on Derwent Street, a few weeks ago.
“It just turned up on our doorstep,” Andrea said.
“It was in such a bad state that we’ve had to literally peel him and get him spruced up.”
Volunteers and youngsters at the Drop Inn are now cleaning up and decorating the statue ahead of its unveiling which Andrea hopes will be in time for the group’s 15th birthday celebrations next month.
Invented in 1952, Mr Potato Head became the first toy to be advertised on TV and is still made in Pawtucket by Hasbro.