A rash of monument thefts in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, claimed a six-foot bronze menorah erected at the city’s Zozimo Barroso do Amaral Square.

According to Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Goldman, director of Beit Lubavitch of Rio de Janeiro, a second menorah across town – made of cement – remained standing.

Burglars apparently cut the menorah into pieces so that it would be easy to melt down, the rabbi said.

Other expensive sculptures in the city – the menorah was constructed six years ago at a cost of $5,000 – have met the same fate, he added, in the wake of a weakened economy and rising metal prices.

Just last winter, local Jewish residents had danced around the menorah in a grand Chanukah celebration.

Goldman pledged that a replacement will be erected as soon as possible.

Said the rabbi: “It has to be done.” …