National

Dog on the Tuckerbox heads ‘bark’ home

By AAP Newswire

Gundagai's famous Dog on the Tuckerbox statue has been patched up and is on its way back home after it was vandalised.

The much-loved monument at Snake Gully on the edge of the NSW Riverina town was toppled from its base at the end of July.

The dog's ear was broken off and its nose was damaged.

But the well-known tourist attraction is on its way back to Gundagai on the back of a ute after being repaired at the Australian National University in Canberra.

ANU sculptor Nick Stranks was tasked with repairing the bronze statue which he admitted was no easy feat.

"The work has a significant history, it's over 80 years old and it's had a number of lives in that time," Stranks said in a statement.

"It was really important we recognise and respect those layers of history."

Stranks said the statue, which weighs more than 200 kilograms, has won plenty of fans during its time on the ANU campus.

It's due back in Gundagai on Thursday night with the community excited to welcome home their "mate," local mayor Abb McAlister told AAP.

"He's just a real mate and always has been to the community and to everyone in Australia," he said.

"He'll be wagging his tail and barking as he makes his way home."

The Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council mayor said it was important for the statue to be returned to its "natural look" and commended Stranks for doing exactly that.

The patched-up Dog on the Tuckerbox statue will be unveiled at a party on Saturday with Riverina MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack expected to attend.

"There'll be a big crowd," Mr McAlister said.

The tourist attraction was erected in 1932 as a memorial to Australian pioneers.

A 28-year-old Wagga Wagga man has been charged with damaging property over the late July incident. He's due to appear in court in mid-September.