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Not being able to see it, I'm going to take a wild guess and say that your statue might be made of plaster or perhaps ceramic, and might be leaching calcium or other minerals. This could make your water harder or raise your pH.

It's best to use decorations that are guaranteed to be safe for the aquarium. Chances are that this one is (otherwise, why would the previous owner have bought it) but since you don't really know the origin of the ornament or what it's made of, and it's been altered, anyway, it might be a good idea to leave it out of your tank.

That's my best guess, unless the statue has some sort of fibrous stuffing.
 
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