Venice has looked like a very different place in recent months, as tourism has grounded to a halt and locals have locked themselves indoors amid the current health crisis.
The centre of the stunning Italian city is now looking even more unrecognisable, but for an entirely different, penis-related reason.
A half-metre-tall giant penis (complete with balls) has appeared in the centre of Venice – and it’s even wearing a face mask.
Check it out here:
The bizarre phallic sculpture first appeared in the usually jam-packed city centre on Monday, May 18, just in front of the Palazzo Ducale in St Mark’s Square.
Local media reports that the artist, who has chosen to remain anonymous, didn’t have permission to place the sculpture in the square but it quickly became a key attraction for passersby, who recorded and photographed it.
But ‘why?’, I hear you ask. Well, the artist told Italian media that the ‘penis is a symbol of life, it says Venice is alive and needs to live and calls people to be strong, not to quit, and to rise up again’.
In other words, no matter how down and flaccid they feel, the people will once again rise up – or ‘erect’. What a beautiful metaphor.
If you look closely, you can see the willy is seen wearing a ‘face mask’ tied on by iron wires representing the elastic straps on the mask.
According to the artist, ‘it represents the coronavirus restrictions, the distance between people, the fear of others, which is also the fear to live’.
On the statue are written several messages, reading words such as ‘phase 3,’ ‘COVID-19’ and ‘prostitution’.
The messages are allegedly in place to get people thinking about how Venice has been commercialised for tourists, who, of course, have been unable to visit since the health crisis began.
The anonymous artist said they hoped that once the crisis is over, people will have had time to reflect and tourist activity in the city will be different.
The installation is called ‘ciapaipaebai’, which in Venetian means ‘had by the balls’; a reference to both the coronavirus and tourism in Venice.
At this stage it’s still unknown when normal life will be able to resume in Venice and the rest of Italy, but perhaps the artist is right, and we’ll all have an entirely different outlook on the places we are fortunate enough to visit.
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