Kidnapped koala Starry Soul back in place on Port Macquarie's Town Green

Happy to back: Mayor of the Koala Republic sculpture artist Pauline Roods, French tourist Dominique Queune, Hello Koala Public Sculpture Trail project manager Linda Hall, Rydges general manager David Capper and world trekker Nicolas Queune at the reinstatement of Starry Soul on Town Green.

Happy to back: Mayor of the Koala Republic sculpture artist Pauline Roods, French tourist Dominique Queune, Hello Koala Public Sculpture Trail project manager Linda Hall, Rydges general manager David Capper and world trekker Nicolas Queune at the reinstatement of Starry Soul on Town Green.

STARRY Soul is at last back on his plinth at Town Green, among his fellow Hello Koala Public Sculpture Trail friends, thanks to a French tourist and public outcry in the Port News and on our website and Facebook pages.

Parisian Nicolas Queune and his mother had followed the koala trail across the Hastings and Camden Haven, taking photos of almost all of them, when the battery on Nicolas' camera died, just as he got to Starry Soul.

When they returned the next day, Starry Soul had disappeared.

Mr Queune called Hello Koalas project manager Linda Hall to tell her it was gone, but she at first thought it was a prank.

"The man on the other end of the phone had a very strong accent and was difficult to understand," Ms Hall said.

The Frenchman has been walking his way around the world visiting places that offer artistic sights.

He continued his journey and again contacted Ms Hall from Hervey Bay, when he learned the sculpture had shown up in the vicinity of Port Macquarie Police Station.

"He asked when it would be replaced in front of The Beach House," Ms Hall said.

Yesterday, he returned to Port Macquarie with his mother for the reinstatement of Starry Soul.

Also there for the occasion was the koala sculpture known as Mayor of the Koala Republic.

"Dominique [his mother] had seen it on our website and loved it the most," Ms Hall said.

Mother and son met koala sculpture artist Pauline Roods and, the man who has stepped up to deter any future vandalising of the Town Green sculptures, David Capper.

The general manager of Rydges Port Macquarie, which also owns The Beach House, has installed extra CCTV cameras.

After this third incident of vandalism of the sculptures there had been discussion about removing those on the Town Green.

"We didn't want to see that happen," Mr Capper said, "so we offered to install additional cameras so Ziggy [Zebu Bar + Grill koala] and his neighbours would be safer."

vickii.byram@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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