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Mystery surrounds giant custom Canucks jerseys worn by Lions Gate Bridge statues

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The stone statues at the Stanley Park entrance to the Lions Gate bridge have stood guard since the span opened 85 years ago.

They’ve been decorated for Christmas and were adorned with face masks during COVID. Now the stone lions are wearing giant blue and green Vancouver Canucks jerseys.

The day after the Canucks beat the Predators to take a one-game lead in the opening round of the playoffs, fans were happy to see the statues wearing the team colours.

“I like it because they are very solemn, they’ve been around all the time, and now they’re participating. I think it’s charming,” said one man, who peered at the statues from the Stanley Park causeway overpass.

Mystery surrounds the jerseys, which appear to be custom-made and are attached with heavy wire.

One passerby theorized the Canucks marketing department was behind the jerseys, and another suggested they could be the work of UBC engineers.

“They were probably put up in the middle of the night so nobody can see them,” said another woman. “It’s a mystery, nobody knows, I think that’s the exciting part of it all.”

It’s not the first time the lions have been adorned with Canucks jerseys. When they appeared on the stone statues during the Stanley Cup final run in 2011, a trio of thieves stole them. Police recovered and returned them days later.

“We have seen this in the past, whether it’s the Canucks or the Lions or other significant social events, various landmarks around the city often get dressed up accordingly,” said Vancouver Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison, who hopes no one takes them during this playoff run.

“It’s part of the fun fan-friendly experience that kind of makes this time of year really cool.”

The police don’t know who made the jerseys and put them on the statues, and neither does B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation, which oversees the Lions Gate bridge.

While there is some concern the jersey-clad statues could be a distraction for drivers, the ministry said in an emailed statement it “recognizes the excitement in the city for Vancouver Canucks playoff hockey and will leave them in place for the time being.”

Fans hope the jerseys can stay as long as the Canucks are in the playoffs, and that they’re only removed when the teams hoists the Stanley Cup.

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