Hartlepool statue set for new sign to explain monkey legend to visitors
Discussions are ongoing about placing a sign on a monkey statue to explain the famous Hartlepool legend to visitors.
The Hartlepool Marina statue is dedicated to the tale of the town supposedly hanging a monkey for being a French spy during the 19th Century Napoleonic Wars.
While it has attracted no complaints, its bowl does attract thousands of pounds every year in loose change for charities.
Yet an internal Hartlepool Borough Council document allegedly stated last year, in the aftermath of nationwide protests about statues, that the statue could be "misused by those with differing agendas to portray Hartlepool as unfriendly towards foreigners".
A borough council spokesperson has now said: “We are currently working on an interpretation of the Hartlepool monkey legend with the intention of installing an explanatory sign on the monkey statue at the Hartlepool Marina lock gates for the benefit of visitors.
“The statue does not belong to the council and is not on our land, but is believed to date back to the 1990s, a time when the Teesside Development Corporation was responsible for regenerating this area.
“We have not received any complaints about the statue, and in fact it helps raise around £2,000 a year for charity thanks to the coins deposited within it by visitors
“In putting up an explanatory sign, we intend to liaise closely with the marina’s current owners, Hartlepool Marina Ltd,”