400 garden gnomes are missing in Austria

400 garden gnomes are missing in Austria
(Image credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

This is no laughing matter: Austria is missing $4,000 worth of garden gnomes.

The Socialist Party, one of the country's main political parties, hung gnomes from lampposts around the country as a campaign method. Four hundred of the garden gnomes, known formally as "Coolmen," have gone missing.

The Socialist Party thinks its rival, the People's Party, is to blame, since some of the lampposts now sport posters for the People's Party.

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In a statement Monday, the Socialist Party "issued a garden gnome alert" as well as an official police complaint, the Associated Press reports. The value of the missing gnomes was 3,000 euros, which equates to roughly $4,000. Reinhold Einwaller, a member of the Socialist Party, told the BBC that if a rival party were responsible, the gnome theft would be "a major scandal."

The People's Party, meanwhile, denies it is responsible for the gnome theft. The Socialist Party is offering a 1,000-euro reward for information about the gnomes' location.

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