K. P., GY. SZ. 2021.01.31 11:36 Frissítve: 2021.01.31 11:40

Australia: the director apologized for the condition of Puskás Statue and took immediate action

The Ferenc Puskás Memorial Statue, inaugurated in 2017 in the Olympic Parks of Melbourne, a sports cult site in Australian, international and Hungarian sports history, was damaged by unknown people and the plaque on it was stolen. The director of the Olympic Parks, John Harnden has apologized for what happened and is taking care of the restoration.


 

The Ferenc Puskás Memorial Statue was inaugurated in 2017 in Melbourne where Zsolt Németh, President of the Parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, Róbert Bélteky and Australian television legend of Hungarian decent Les Murray who has died since (opposite, left to right, photo: Balázs Mariczky)

The director of the Olympic Parks in Melbourne apologizes for the damage, and the pedestal will be repaired within two weeks, as a letter writes sent to Hungarian Ambassador István Mikola. Róbert Bélteky, who owns Budafok in the Hungarian League (NB I) but lives in Melbourne, informed Nemzeti Sport about the destruction.

Regarding the problem with the statue, hvg.hu wrote an article citing a Twitter post, but the news spread across Australian press and social media too. Former goalkeeper of Manchester United and Aston Villa, Mark Bosnich also shared a photo about it.

Bosnich’s tweet about the damage (Source: Twitter)

John Harnden also writes in his letter that the area surrounding the statue has been cleaned up which Mr. Bélteky was personally convinced of. He adds that they know of Puskás' achievement in football, and they are happy to participate in organizing a commemoration along with replacing the pedestal with marble.

Ferenc Puskás was the sports manager of South Melbourne Hellas from 1989 to 1991, and in 1991 the team won the National Soccer League “grand finale.” This and the cup final won by them were held in a stadium that was standing in the Olympic Parks at the time. Also, just a few hundred meters away from the statue was the swimming pool where the legendary Hungary-USSR water polo semi-final was played at the 1956 Olympics. It was immediately after the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 was suppressed by the Soviets, making the whole world and local Hungarian immigrants have special interest in the match. After the Olympic Games, many Hungarian athletes and professionals remained in Australia, and later even more compatriots found a home “Down Under.”

The Hungarian Consulate in Melbourne organizes a wreath-laying ceremony there every year, and the 2017 inauguration of the statue was also attended by Nemzeti Sportcheck out our news coverage and photo gallery here!

(Translated by Vanda Orosz)

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