'Provocative' statue of Netanyahu appears overnight, then knocked over

People carry a statue of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after it was placed without permit at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.

Story highlights

  • Artist erects 4-meter tall "King Bibi" statue in Tel Aviv square; he calls it provocative
  • Culture minister says it was "motivated by hate" of Netanyhu; bystander knocks it down

Jerusalem (CNN)A surprising sight greeted people walking though Tel Aviv's Rabin Square on Tuesday morning.

A statue of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been erected on top of a white plinth.
    The gilded statue, dubbed "King Bibi" by its creator, stood more than 4 meters high with a red rope barrier around it to enhance the effect. The man responsible was Israeli sculptor Itay Zalait.
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    He told Israeli television he had placed it in the square during the night because he wanted to make people think.
    Art, Zalait said, is supposed to be provocative. However, the municipal council didn't see it that way and gave him a ticket and a fine.
    Culture Minister Miri Regev, a member of Netanyahu's Likud party, was also unimpressed. A spokesperson told CNN Regev described the statue as a "Golden calf motivated by hate" for the Prime Minister.
    The municipal council  gave the artist a ticket and a fine.
    Speaking to Israeli radio, opposition leader Isaac Herzog called it a "legitimate protest."
    Word quickly spread and for a short while the statue became a minor tourist attraction until the inevitable happened.
    A man in the crowd decided he had enough and with one shove the statue of the Prime Minister was sent crashing back to Earth.