Henry and Robert Landau, owners of the landmark clothing store Landau at 102 Nassau Street, unveiled their new store mascot at 11 a.m. As Henry Landau began to open the crate, his brother joked, “I hope he’s still in there.”
The new ram, a lighter, fluffier version of the old, is named Bjartur (pronounced byar-tur) , which means pale face.
“People asked about our ram every day, so we decided a replacement was in order,” Robert Landau said.
Last July, the original Landau ram Lindi was stolen. The theft made national and international news, with reporters from Iceland contacting local news outlets asking if they could use pictures of the ram for their stories.
The Landau brothers got Lindi from Iceland in the mid 1970s when they were doing a big business in Icelandic woolens. For more than 35 years, the stuffed ram stood watch on Nassau Street. The Landaus hoped the disappearance was just a prank and thought perhaps the 150-pound ram would be returned. Sixteen years ago, two students from The College of New Jersey kidnapped the ram as a stunt, and the Landau brothers were hoping that was the case this time around.
“Probably this time either the ram broke when someone took off with it and they ditched it, or they saw all the press, realized how much the ram was worth and dumped it so they wouldn’t get caught,” Henry Landau said.
Children loved to pose for pictures with Lindi on Nassau Street. But Bjartur is much lighter and more fragile, so he will be staying inside the store. Just like Lindi, he is on wheels so that he can be moved around easily.
Henry Landau demonstrated how light he is and how easy he is to roll around.
“I call him the ram on a skateboard,” he said.