Nearly two years to the day since Northcote residents were first captivated by the great Gold Head, another gilded guerrilla artwork has appeared at the same storied site in All Nations Park.

“Woah, she’s beautiful!” exclaimed one member of the Northcote Plaza Appreciation Society Facebook group after seeing a report on the site yesterday that a fifth anonymously installed statue, this one on its own gold plinth, had appeared almost exactly one year since the last.

It’s the third year in a row that a golden bust has been covertly installed at the site during the week of the January 26th public holiday, raising questions about the connection it may have to the date.

Six months ago, it seemed the bizarre saga – which has involved vandalism, wild community speculation and council intervention – might be over. Last July, Darebin Council facilitated a charity auction of the original statue, Gold Head I, fetching an impressive $7195 – but the statues keep appearing, with this week’s addition bringing the headcount to five.

As with past instalments, Gold Head V has attracted plenty of online attention. And local devotion to the beguiling busts seems untempered by time, with one impassioned Facebook user issuing a public plea for round-the-clock surveillance of the latest arrival: “Okay, we all need to take shifts guarding the idol … hands up, who’s first?”