Springfield, Oregon might be the inspiration for The Simpsons, but five years ago, when the producers were looking for places to premeire The Simpsons Movie, they discovered that there were Springfield’s all over the world more than willing to claim the Simpsons as their own.

Even, it turned out, on the other side of the world in New Zealand, where in the small Canterbury township of Springfield at the foot of the Southern Alps, a giant pink iced donut suddenly took pride of place.

The 3.5 metre fiberglass donut, gifted to the town by 20th Century Fox,  was unveiled by Homer and Bart Simpson in July 2007 and appeared to be a hit with locals and tourists alike. But sometimes appearances can be deceiving and it turned out that not everyone liked having a giant donut, especially one that was associated with American cartoons and dysfunctional families,  as the star attraction in their small alpine town.

In fact, someone took such a dislike to it, that in 2009 they set it on fire.

A replacement donut – this time made from an old tire – was quickly put up in its place until a stronger, more permanent donut could be made.  And at its base, this plaque was placed:

Last week, the ‘Mother Donut’ returned – a new, improved (and guaranteed fire-proof) concrete donut that has, once again, become a hit with locals and tourist.

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Liz Lewis is a New Zealand based writer who favors wine tasting and food markets over bungy jumping and mountain climbing.