Council town planning officials from the Turkish city of Phrygia are urgently trying to arrange a meeting with local resident King Midas after a mysterious profusion of gold statues in the neighbourhood of the royal palace prompted hundreds of complaints from angry residents.
The local newspaper has been flooded with letters complaining about the sudden proliferation of golden trees, animals and courtiers in the immediate vicinity of Midas's residence, with many finding the golden objects gaudy and tasteless. "Unlimited wealth? Not in my backyard!" wrote one angry correspondent. "This makes our neighbourhood look cheap and tacky, and will just bring the wrong types into the area. Keep your bling to yourself, Midas!"
Even though Midas was widely suspected to be behind the mysterious alchemical trend, it was still a surprise for many to wake up this morning and find the entire palace converted overnight from a traditional stone structure to an exact replica in purest gold. "Say what you like, it's a hell of a job to do in one night," conceded a neighbour this morning. "We got laminate flooring done on our house last year, and it took weeks. But he's crazy, I reckon - this must have cost a fortune, and how much value does it really add to the house? He'd have been better off converting the attic, if you ask me."
All local builders and decorators have denied having anything to do with the mysterious gilding, leading some to conclude that it must be the work of a malignant fairy, or possibly gypsies. Regardless, the town council has vowed to demand retrospective planning permission be sought immediately, with demolition of the palace a real possibility. "I have to say, it's quite out of keeping with the area," insisted Council chief Brian Thickett, "We phoned the owner first thing this morning, but got cut off as soon as he answered, and haven't been able to get through since. So I'm going round there in person this afternoon, and I hope the King and I can settle this like gentlemen, with a handshake."