Colombia’s third largest city Cali is likely to celebrate Christmas without lighting this year after $16.5 million worth of decorations have mysteriously gone missing, local newspaper El Pais reported Tuesday.
According to the newspaper, some of the 10,000 figures used in last years display were found dumped on a wasteland and almost all were unusable, while $16.5 million worth of Christmas decorations used by Cali in the last 12 years are entirely unaccounted for.
Cali’s deputy director of public services Leon Dario Espinosa, who has been in search of the missing lights, told the newspaper that “the only thing I found so far are some dolls and various items used in the lighting last year.”
German Villegas, the manager of the company in charge of maintenance of Cali’s street lighting claimed the company is only responsible for the design, installation and removing the lights, and what happens after the company delivers the lights to the city government is not their responsibility.
All is not lost according to El Pais; the government of Cali will conduct an inventory on the remaining lights to determine whether it would be possible to reuse them this year in a bid to keep the city’s Christmas tradition alive.