Giant gets makeover
The Cerne Abbas Giant was looking a little less in shape than he should until volunteers gave him a makeover that means he can be seen standing proud for miles around again.
Crews of volunteers arrived from cities as far-flung as Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester. Over a ten-day period this month, teams of 20 to 30 volunteers dug up 18 tons of old chalk and replaced it with a similar amount of new chalk, tamping it down into the 3-inch-deep ruts.
"It's hard work, but it's not often you get to work on an icon," says Chris Irish, a chalk-grass-and-sweat-stained computer programmer who was part of a 16-member group of volunteers that had driven 250 miles south from Leeds to spend two days helping to reinvigorate the giant.
Though clearly well-cared for, the giant has certainly suffered his share of ignominies. Two years ago, producers of The Simpsons Movie got permission from the owner of an adjacent field to paint a huge, underpants-clad Homer offering the giant a doughnut. That same year, Fathers for Justice, a stunt-driven fathers'-rights group, painted the giant's penis purple. A few years earlier, students from a local university painted a naked giantess on the grass next to him. The giant has also been featured in ads for products ranging from bicycles to condoms.