02 July 2008

Nick Cave’s semi-naked statue for tourism promotion set in stone

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Nick Cave has promised to erect a "larger-than-life" bronze statue of his shirtless self riding a horse in his rural hometown of Warracknabeal, 200 miles north-west of Melbourne, reports the Mail Times. The Brighton-based rock star is hoping to encourage tourists to visit the area to see the sculpture.

The statue is estimated to cost  around $60,000 (£29,000) and will be erected by the end of the year if Cave can raise the funds.  The singer-songwriter has already invited his superstar friends to raise the profile of the event.  "Russell Crowe, my mate, has promised to attend.  Snoop Dogg, a rapper, says he’ll come if they let him into the country.  Kylie Minogue said she wouldn’t miss it for the world; she even promised to wear her gold lame hot pants," he told the news provider. 

Cave confirmed many people have responded well to the idea, saying they would be willing to travel to rural Australia to see the statue.  This is the kind of quirky promotion Australian tourism is in dire need of; tourism numbers are lagging, marketing and branding strategies for Australia are under critical evaluation, and Tourism Australia is being shaken-up with changes to its Board of Directors.  The Australian Government is looking at ways to entice travellers on an Australia visa or Australian working visa to branch out from the well-travelled path between capital cities and discover what rural Australia has to offer. 

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