Statue of actor Bud Spencer unveiled in Budapest

A bronze statue of late Italian movie actor Bud Spencer is being unveiled by (from left) his daughter Cristiana, Hungarian sculptor Szandra Tasnadi and his Hungarian water polo friend, three-times Olympic winner Gyorgy Karpati in Budapest on Nov 11,
A bronze statue of late Italian movie actor Bud Spencer is being unveiled by (from left) his daughter Cristiana, Hungarian sculptor Szandra Tasnadi and his Hungarian water polo friend, three-times Olympic winner Gyorgy Karpati in Budapest on Nov 11, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

BUDAPEST (AFP) - A year after his death, a massive bronze statue of Spaghetti Western actor Bud Spencer, born Carlo Pedersoli in 1929, was unveiled in Budapest Saturday (Nov 11) before a crowd of adoring fans.

The burly and bearded actor, who died in June 2016, earned cult status in Hungary during the country's decades of communist rule which ended in 1989.

Sculptor Szandra Tasnadi said her 2.4-metre-high and over 500-kilogram work - portraying Spencer with a saddle slung over his shoulder - is the first full-body statue of the bearded actor.

"He was a unifier, he created a community through laughter and joy, he was a good athlete, a good actor, a good husband and a good father," local official Mate Kocsis said.

Spencer's film capers with on-screen buddy Terence Hill spanned genres from Westerns to crime heists in exotic locations.

The movies, still shown on repeat in Hungary, gave Hungarians a rare glimpse of glamour during an period when cinema was strictly censored by communist authorities.

Spencer also fashioned a career as a professional swimmer and water polo player, his last game in the pool a tie against Hungary in 1967.

"We are honoured and grateful, the statue does justice to him, as he was great in his posture, in his passions and in his heart," said Cristiana Pedersoli, Spencer's daughter at the unveiling.