Reuters and the supposed theft of a Lego giraffe penis

It was a typical silly season yarn. Reuters last week published a story on the repeated theft of the 30cm long Lego penis from the model giraffe found at the entrance to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Berlin.

The penis, which was made of 15,000 Lego bricks, had apparently been stolen four times and replaced at a cost of £2,600 on each occassion.

So problematic had the thefts become, the Centre was reported to be constructing a barrier to protect the animal’s plastic phallus from souvenir seekers.

Great story. If only it were true.

Reuters yesterday corrected the story (hattip: Regret the Error) saying each theft had related to something far less titilating. Rather than the giraffe’s pride and joy, punters had been making off with the giraffe’s tail.

Maybe something had been lost in translation.

The full correction:

09:23 25Aug09 RTRS-CORRECTED-German Lego giraffe tail repeatedly stolen
(Correcting to ‘tail’ from ‘penis’)
BERLIN, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Visitors to a tourist attraction in Berlin have been making off with an unusual memento – the 30 cm long tail of a Lego giraffe.
The Lego tail belongs to a six metre tall model that has stood outside the entrance to the Legoland Discovery Centre on Potsdamer Platz since 2007.
“It’s a popular souvenir,” a spokeswoman for the centre said on Tuesday. “It’s been stolen four times now …”
The tail is made out of 15,000 Lego bricks. It takes model workers about one week to restore it at a cost of 3,000 euros ($4,300), the spokeswoman said.
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