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Missing the Golden Fisherman, a Tale of Katrina and Incompetent Salvagers


In 1977, the town of , Mississippi erected a 15 foot gold-painted statue that became known as the Golden Fisherman. Created by Henry Del Reeks, the structure was actually comprised of mismatched metals. Some of the fisherman was created out of bronze silica. However, much of the statue was crafted from metal salvaged by local school children. Vieux Marche, literally Old Market, was created on a portion of the historical Biloxi thoroughfare, -Point Cadet Road. However, though the space was earmarked for urban renewal, the expected growth never manifested. Though originally the home of the enormous 4500 pound statue, the statue didn’t really fit in with the Vieux Marche. So, when a regional hospital was erected nearby, making the Fisherman seem even more out of place, aesthetically minded townspeople elected to have him moved closer to the shoreline. Once there he looked at home, casting his huge nets. Then, in 2005, Hurricane hit the area, sweeping the Fisherman out to sea and breaking his foot. After a year of lying around like detritus, while other Katrina-specific problems were addressed, the statue was stolen. Money was offered for the return of the beloved, though not especially valuable landmark. Soon, after the Fisherman was found. Apparently, the ransacking hooligans, who must have thought they had found a prize, figured out their mistake. So, they ditched the Fisherman, but not before cutting the poor man up. Today, though still in pieces, the beloved town fixture is slated to be fixed. It’s been noted that the Fisherman’s importance isn’t merely historical, but resides in its acknowledgement of Biloxi’s status as seafood capital of the world.

Key Takeaways:

  • In 1977 the , Mississippi erected the Harry Del Reeks creation, known as the Golden Fisherman.
  • The Golden Fisherman was 15 feet tall and weighed 4500 pounds and, perhaps obviously, was painted gold.
  • The Fisherman was fashioned from metal plates. Some was bronze silica. Other parts were made from random metal, collected by school children.

“In 2002, the good people of Biloxi, recognizing the Golden Fisherman’s plight, and deciding that Urban Renewal hadn’t been a good idea anyway, moved him to another plaza of his own and closer to the water on Point Cadet near the Maritime and Seafood .”

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