Tentacled tipster Paul the Octopus gets memorial

Paul the celebrated octopus has finally got his tentacles

wrapped around a football.

The Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen on Thursday unveiled a

memorial to the World Cup’s most unlikely star: A 2-meter (6

1/2-foot) tall plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his

eight arms.

Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig said Paul’s cremated ashes

were placed in a gold-leaf-covered urn inside the ball. Paul died

three months ago.

”We acted upon the wishes of fans and created a place of

remembrance,” Munzig told The Associated Press. ”This monument

was also built to show visitors just how much people around the

world loved Paul.”

Paul correctly tipped the outcome of all seven of Germany’s

games at last year’s World Cup, plus the Spain-Netherlands final.

He made his predictions by opening the lid of one of two boxes,

each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.

The oversized football that the immortalized Paul sits on is

covered with different national flags and also has a small window

through which visitors can look at the urn.

In addition, the aquarium created ”Paul Corner,” which

includes newspaper clippings in many different languages that tell

of Paul’s global fame and exhibits gifts sent to the museum.

A family in Spain sent a glass of mussels in oil as a reward for

Paul after he correctly predicted that Spain would win the World

Cup, Munzig said. A fan from New Zealand tailored a red, sleeveless

football shirt for Paul – with a hole for each tentacle.

As for Paul’s successor, a six-month old octopus brought from

France and also named Paul, Munzig said it still isn’t clear

whether he will also try his tentacles at forecasting.

”We’re not pushing him into being an oracle against his will,

that’s for sure,” Munzig said. ”But if he is going to develop an

interest in football and forecasting, we’ll be very supportive of

his talents.”