A statue of dead paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein has been placed in a US city, raising questions about the role of public monuments in US cities.

The statue, which appeared in front of the City Hall building in Albuquerque, New Mexico, was left by a man who shouted: "If we don't have a statue of Epstein, how will people learn?"

Epstein's Zorro Ranch is outside Albuquerque and reportedly played host to Bill Clinton and other celebrity guests, as well as being rigged with an elaborate camera network.

Local news station KRQE tracked down the group behind the statue, a local art collective who said that "those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it".

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The group said the action was a satirical strike against those critical of the recent movement to topple statues of racist historical figures.

"You know, so many statues are being taken down but you know, people are saying that they're bad people, so you know maybe we just need more statues of people like Epstein because that's historical too, so we maybe need statues of people like Epstein, maybe schools can even have statue parks with people like Hitler, and Mao and Lenin just so that we can really you know, remember history," the anonymous spokesperson told KRQE.

"We think we need an Epstein statue in every school because otherwise how are students even going to learn they even existed?

"You know those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it, and so if we don't have statues of Epstein up, how can we prevent predatory behavior," the spokesperson added.

The statue was in fact a shop mannequin that had been painted bronze and placed on a plinth that held a small plaque.

The plaque read: "Jeffrey (January 20, 1953 - August 10, 2019) was an American financier, who started as a teacher and worked his way up from a low level assistant to being one of the top financial advisers in the USA.

"He had a home in New Mexico, Zorro Ranch. He was also a rapist who died in prison."

The plaque then listed a series of legal actions taken against Epstein.

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The Epstein case hit the headlines again today when his notorious ex-girlfriend and reported 'madam' Ghislaine Maxwell was finally arrested by US authorities.

An indictment made public on Thursday said Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent travel companion on trips around the world, facilitated Epstein's crimes by "helping Epstein to recruit, groom, and ultimately abuse " girls as young as 14. It also said she participated in the sexual abuse.

Maxwell has, for years, been accused by many women of recruiting them to give Epstein massages, during which they were pressured into sex. Those accusations, until now, never resulted in criminal charges.

Maxwell, 58, was arrested in New Hampshire, where the FBI said it had been keeping tabs on her.

"More recently we learned she had slithered away to a gorgeous property in New Hampshire, continuing to live a life of privilege while her victims live with the trauma inflicted upon them years ago," William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI's New York office, said at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

-Additional reporting, AP

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