Minne – the lake creature who spends its summer floating in Minneapolis waters – has proven to be too popular among some lakegoers, whose heavy-handed treatment of the sculpture has left it in need of repairs.
The Minneapolis Parks Foundation announced Wednesday the 13-foot, Loch Ness Monster-esque fiberglass sculpture, which has been in Lake Calhoun since June, was pulled from the lake.
It comes after lake users were over-eager in their attempts to interact with Minne – at one point three people were spotted climbing on it at the same time (see picture below) – which may have caused damage to the creature.
"Lake Calhoun embraced Minne the Lake Creature like no other lake – a bit too literally, at times," Minneapolis Parks Foundation executive director Tom Evers said. "We want people to engage with Minne from a safe distance because it's a sculpture, not a climbing structure."
"It's better for both Minne and Minneapolitans," he added.
The sculpture is the work of artist Cameron Gainer, according to the Star Tribune, and since making its first appearance six years ago it has spent time in Lake Harriet, Lake of the Isles, Wirth Lake, Brownie Lake, Powderhorn Lake, Lake Hiawatha and Lake Nokomis.
It was due to stay in the water until September, but the newspaper notes it has now been taken to its out-of-season storage unit in northeast Minneapolis for repairs.
A Parks and Recreation spokesperson also told the Star Tribune the introduction of paddle board rentals on Lake Calhoun has contributed to a rise in people climbing on it.
The foundation is now looking for ways to prevent people damaging Minne, the foundation's blog post says, with regulations preventing it from posting "no climbing" signage on or near the creature.