Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Punch Up Your Image

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) - A Serbian village is hoping to channel some of
Rocky Balboa's fighting spirit with a 10-foot-tall statue of the fictional boxer
portrayed by Sylvester Stallone.

Zitiste, a village about 35 miles north of Belgrade that has been beset
in recent years by flooding and landslides, unveiled the statue in the village
square late Saturday.

The monument, unveiled as part of a music festival, is made of bronze
and concrete. It was created by Croatian artist Boris Staparac.

Zitiste has repeatedly suffered flooding and landslides, gaining a
disaster-prone reputation. Fed up, the locals contemplated how to change that
image and revive the village - one of the poorest in northern Serbia - and came
up with the idea of a statue of the tenacious fictional fighter.
"Our idea
has really stirred the public," said local official Zoran Kasalovic. "Now, no
one in Serbia can say they don't know about Zitiste."

Stallone, 61, portrayed Balboa in six movies, starting with "Rocky" in 1976
Ok, a fake boxer might change your village's image. But what's with the chickens? Get rid of the chickens. Get some dobermans. Or a bear-holding-a-shark. That's deadly. That says, "Don't come here and try to steal my dirt, or I'll sick my bear-holding-a-shark on you!

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