The Angel of the North sculpture no longer has its Santa hat on after the pranksters responsible climbed up overnight to remove it.
One of the group, dressed as Dr Seuss character the Grinch, was photographed pulling the hat down from the 65ft structure outside Gateshead, with the help of three others dressed as Santa.
Even Gateshead Council had welcomed the stunt, describing the public response as “staggering” after the pictures made national news.
“Because it’s such good publicity, we thought we’d give the public something else to laugh and smile about before the end of the festive season and came up with the Grinch and a few Santas to take it down.”
Their first attempt saw them scale the structure only to discover their hat was too small to fit.
One member said he spent £90 on fabric to create the hat, sewing it all together with the help of his girlfriend and his grandmother’s sewing machine.
This Christmas was not the first time the 200-tonne structure has been dressed up since being installed 20 years ago.
A group of Newcastle United fans placed a Newcastle shirt with Alan Shearer’s name on it in 1998 while supermarket Morrisons was forced to apologise after beaming a bread advert on to its wings in 2015.