Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag


Three 20-somethings charged with having torched the 2016 IKEA Christmas goat

By Staff

  • The goat burns Fed up with the repeated attacks by Christmas goat-hating arsonists IKEA in Iceland decided to press charges against a group of young people who destroyed the 2016 goat. Photo/Screenshot from video, see below.

Two women and one male, all in their 20s, have been charged with having burned down a giant goat which stood in front of the IKEA store in the capital region in December 2016. The defendants deny the charges, despite having been followed from the scene by security guards and police who arrested them in a Reykjavík suburb after a short chase.

You can watch a video of the goat burning below.

Read more: Arsonists finally mange to burn down the giant IKEA Christmas Goat

The three defendants can be seen torching the six meter (20 ft) tall goat statue on November 14 2016. Security camera footage shows the dousing the giant Christmas decoration with a flammable liquid and then throwing improvised Molotov cocktails at the goat, setting it ablaze. The group fled the scene but was followed by IKEA security guards who were then joined by the Metropolitan Police which stopped and arrested the group in a Reykjavík suburb. 

A strange tradition
The Christmas goat is a Scandinavian tradition, primarily observed in Sweden where giant Christmas goats are erected in city centers. IKEA has embraced the tradition. The Swedish IKEA goats have frequently met the same fate as last year's goat in Iceland. Erecting and decorating the giant goat, and its subsequent destruction at the hands of arsonists, have in recent decades evolved into what could be considered a strange dual custom.

IKEA has installed a giant goat by it's Reykjavík store for the past eight years. Arsonists managed to burn down the goat in 2010 and 2012 In 2011 and 2013 the goat was damaged in severe storms and in 2015 the goat burned down after an electrical malfunction. Numerous attempts at setting the goat ablaze have been thwarted.

In the previous arson cases IKEA had opted not to press charges, instead settling outside of court. Last year, however, the company decided to press charges. The local news site Vísir reports that the arsonists are also being sued to pay 1.8 million ISK (16,000 USD/15,000 EUR) to pay for the damage they caused.

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