The mystery of the whereabouts of the missing King Kong statue, which made a proud and dramatic appearance during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, has been solved.

Intrepid YouTuber DJ Audits has shared a spectacular and poignant video which shows the once proud Kong now lying on his back and armless at a demolition yard in Telford.

The drone footage – filmed over three weeks ago and viewed over 34,000 times – shows the sad and shocking fate of the iconic Kong statue which was such a massive hit with Brummies and attendees of the Commonwealth Games last year.

Kong was unveiled during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the Jewellery QuarterKong in Brum
Kong was unveiled during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the Jewellery Quarter
Some paint damage is visible where Kong's left arm was detached DJ Audits
The once proud Birmingham Kong now lies in pieces at a demolition yard in Telford

DJ Audits, who visits and audits sites all over the country in search of interesting facts and figures, shared his stunning find after filming the Garvey Demolition site in Telford.

The video shows Kong’s mighty arms dismantled while his massive torso, which once towered high and proud, now lying flat on his back and staring with impotent rage at the thundery skies above.

There is some indication in the video that some sort of primitive care has been taken to ensure the statue is not subjected to damage. Wooden boards have been placed under Kong to prevent further scuffs or scratches.

The iconic statue was discovered in a demolition yard by YouTuber DJ AuditsDJ Audits
The iconic statue was discovered in the car park of a demolition yard by YouTuber DJ Audits

In its current melancholy state the statue looks like an art installation piece that poetically, and hauntingly, touches upon the horrors of the Slave Trade as the once magnificent Kong lies caged and broken in a desolate landscape.

The original location of the towering statue – standing at a gigantic 23ft – was in Great Hampton Row, in the Jewellery Quarter, where the entire street was transformed into a Commonwealth Games Village where visitors could relax, eat and drink, and watch sporting events on a giant screen while Kong watched over them last summer.

Developer Cordia Blackswan, which has offices in Great Hampton Row, got the blessing of artist Nicholas Monro who was commissioned to design the original Birmingham Kong in 1972. The artist cheekily modelled his own hands for the massive statue.

The 70’s Kong stood at a height of 18ft compared to the 2022 version which was around 20% taller.

Artist Nicholas Munro's maquette Kong on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery Emma Jean
Artist Nicholas Munro’s maquette version of Kong on display at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

The new designers borrowed Monro’s maquette version of Kong from Wolverhampton Art Gallery to produce the latest Kong.

Monro gave his approval for the new statue shortly before he passed away last August. 50 years after first appearing in Birmingham, Munro’s King Kong made a dramatic and triumphant return to the city in 2022.

The humongous statue in Great Hampton Row, created for the Commonwealth Games, was a larger scale replica of the fondly-remembered 1972 King Kong which also had a chequered history and disappeared soon after it made its spectacular appearance at the Manzoni Gardens by the Bull Ring Shopping Centre.

The original Birmingham Kong statue was discovered damaged and lying on its back in Penrith in 2011Pigsonthewing
The original Birmingham Kong statue was discovered damaged and lying on its back in Penrith in 2011

The 1972 Nicholas Monro statue became something of a Holy Grail for local historians, and online discussions and pictures about the original Kong always drew huge interest.

The original statue changed owners and locations a number of times and in the process underwent damage such as losing an arm, being repainted in garish colours, and in 2011 Kong’s torso was spotted lying on its back in a car park.

Eerily, the fate of the original Birmingham Kong seems to parallel the new statue which was unveiled to the public during the Commonwealth Games in July 2022.

Kong is locked and caged and facing an uncertain futureDJ Audits
Kong is locked and caged and facing an uncertain future

The original plan was for Kong to remain at the Great Hampton Row location until the Commonwealth Games were over but the popularity of the statue was unprecedented.

People in search of a nostalgic trip down memory lane were already queuing up for photographs even before the statue was assembled.

The Birmingham Kong and Birmingham bull statues boosted tourism and local businesses also benefited as families and visitors headed into the city to see the public works of art.

King's giant arms are currently detached and lying on boards in the demolition yardDJ Audits
Kong’s giant arms are currently detached and lying on boards in the demolition yard

The planned two week public display of Kong in the Jewellery Quarter was extended as developers Cordia Blackswan started talks with partners with a view to taking the much-loved Birmingham Kong on a tour and finding it a permanent home.

However, once Kong had been removed from public view there was complete silence and no tour. Mystery soon followed about the whereabouts of the statue.

The statue simple vanished from public view with no details about what had happened to it, or where it had been taken.

The spectacular drone footage was shot three weeks ago by DJ AuditsDJ Audits
The spectacular drone footage was shot three weeks ago by DJ Audits

There were public calls, including an online petition and campaign, to find Kong and save him in the same way the Birmingham Games bull was granted a reprieve from being dismantled and thrown onto the scrapheap.

The famous Birmingham Games bull was not only saved, but was also given a name after a public vote – with Ozzy (in honour of Ozzy Osbourne) being the clear favourite – and the sculpture is now being assembled and will shortly be unveiled by Network Rail at the concourse in New Street Station which will become its permanent home.

The fate of Kong seems more complicated and not as straightforward or clear-cut as the positive outcome for Ozzy the bull.

The 23-ft high Birmingham Kong was manufactured by RoboCarv Cordia Blackswan
The 23ft high Birmingham Kong was manufactured by RoboCarv

It appears that Cordia Blackswan no longer retain ownership of Kong, and there are no confirmed details about who currently owns the massive statue.

A spokesperson for Garvey Demolition, where Kong is currently being kept under lock and key, stated that the statue was dismantled by RoboCarv – who were behind the manufacture of Kong – and the statue transported to the demolition yard in Telford for “storage purposes”.

DJ Audits, who discovered the statue, is hoping Kong is preserved and put back on public display: “I found King Kong in a car park rotting away and he needs to be back on display!”

(Visited 722 times, 1 visits today)