This weekend the Pikachu statue in Coliseum Square, aka the Pokemonument, vanished. After previously being hit by a baseball bat and vandalized, it might seem like the disappearance was the act of a Poke-hater.
On the contrary, The Advocate reports that the Pokemonument artist—whose identity remains a mystery—has donated the statue to the Coliseum Square Association, who will auction it off to benefit the Lower Garden District Parks & Fountains Fund.
An animated video "artist statement" to announce the auction was uploaded to a YouTube channel with the name Pika Pika, and it says the statue "was never conceived to be permanent installation":
Public sculpture, whether sanctioned or not, has the potential to transform and energize community spaces. When we snuck a Pikachu statue into the middle of a dry fountain on Terpsichore Street, we could not have imagined that it would attract so much attention. That the momentum would carry its image around the world. Overwhelmed and touched doesn't begin to describe what the response has meant to us.