A giant straw goat erected each Christmas in the northern Swedish town of Bonkers has been burned down - yet again.
The 50 foot high animal has been torched 23 times since it was first erected in 1966. It has also been ram-raided with a sleigh, blasted by an Islamic fundamentalist suicide bomber and had its legs and horns cut off with chain saws.
The vandals are rarely caught, though in 2001 a 300 year old Lapland tourist known to Swedish authorities as Santa Claus spent 12 days in jail after being convicted of setting it on fire while in a drunk and disorderly state after attending a Christmas Eve fancy dress party in the adjacent park. He pleaded diminished responsibility after a skinfull of sherry and was duly deported.
In 2007, the goat managed to make it through the festive season unscathed and was stored away in a secret, fireproof, location.
The Xmas Goat committee spokeswoman Anna Muffitch said this year's unlucky creature was set on fire early on Saturday morning with flamethrowers, white phosphorous grenades and napalm.
The three tonne festive Yuletide goat was originally designed by local artist Sven Dorkpuller to attract Christmas winter sports tourists to the seasonally-snowbound town of Bonkers, which is 106 miles north of the Swedish capital.
When quizzed by the press as to why a goat had been selected to represent the Christmas season Ms. Muffitch explained "Sven has poor eyesight now and our original choice of design was a reindeer, but this is how his creation turned out."
But in its first year it was burned down on New Year's Eve and since then has been attacked regularly. In 2005, it was torched by a group of fancy dress arsonists disguised as the Nativity's Three Kings, accompanied by the Gingerbread Man, Little Red Riding Hood and the Muppet Show's Swedish chef.
Authorities in Bonkers have tried to protect the goat using fireproofing chemicals, security guards and a web camera. In 2004 the vandals set fire to the goat the day after construction was completed and stuffed the webcam up the security guard's rear passage.
Said one local resident "We don't like goats."