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Paul, World Cup Octopus Oracle, Memorialized

BERLIN - Paul the celebrated octopus has finally got his tentacles wrapped around a soccer ball.

The Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen on Thursday unveiled a memorial to the World Cup's most unlikely star: a 6½-foot tall plastic replica of Paul clutching a ball in his eight arms.

Paul died three months ago and his cremated ashes were placed in a gold-leaf-covered urn inside the ball.

"We acted upon the wishes of fans and created a place of remembrance," Aquarium spokeswoman Tanja Munzig told The Associated Press. "This monument was also built to show visitors just how much people around the world loved Paul."

Paul correctly predicted the outcome of all seven of Germany's games at last year's World Cup, plus the Spain-Netherlands final. He made his picks by opening the lid of one of two boxes, each containing a mussel and bearing a team flag.

The oversized soccer ball that the immortalized Paul sits on is covered with different national flags and also has a small window through which visitors can look at the urn.

More on the legend that was Paul:

World Cup Octopus Oracle to Spain? Nein
Paul the Octopus Retires
Octopus Oracle Hangs it Up after World Cup

In addition, the aquarium created "Paul Corner." the site features newspaper clippings in many languages that tell of Paul's global fame and displays gifts sent to the museum.

A family in Spain sent a glass of mussels in oil as a reward for Paul after he correctly predicted that Spain would win the World Cup, Munzig said. A fan from New Zealand made a red, sleeveless soccer shirt for Paul - with a hole for each tentacle.

Paul's successor is a 6-month old octopus brought from France and also named Paul. Munzig said it isn't clear if he, too, will try his tentacles at forecasting.

"We're not pushing him into being an oracle against his will, that's for sure," Munzig said. "But if he is going to develop an interest in football and forecasting, we'll be very supportive of his talents."

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