A Celtic sea god statue created by a Dungannon scupltor, which made headlines around the world after its bizarre disappearance, looks set to make a dramatic comeback.
John Darron Sutton, who created the original Manannán Mac Lir sculpture, has spent the last six months painstakingly making a replacment scuplture.
Standing at nine-feet two inches tall, the majestic piece of art is “back on his boat and nearly ready to be placed on his hill”, according to the Games of Thrones sculptor.
The Dungannon artist was reunited with the Celtic sea god sculpture after it was found dumped on the mountainside just a few hundred metres from its original spot.
Mr Sutton knew it was badly damaged, as half the head was missing at the back, and attempts to remove the arms and neck were visible all over the sculpture.
Speaking to the Derry Journal reporter Sheena Jackson, the artist said: “I didn’t realise how badly damaged it was. Everywhere you look it needed repaired.”
Those behind the bizarre incident left a cross in place of the statue with the words ‘YOU SHALL HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME’.
Mr Sutton said they had a job on their hands when removing it. and he doesn’t believe the culprits did it as a prank.
“It took too much effort because you can see where they tried to saw it off at the beard, the neck and the arms,” said Mr. Sutton. “They obviously went to some effort, but they shot themselves in the foot. I don’t think they realised there would be such a backlash. Everybody was talking about it. They obviously didn’t think it through.”