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Pissing pug, Lucifer and other controversial sculptures that caused a lot of controversy
Pissing pug, Lucifer and other controversial sculptures that caused a lot of controversy
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Pissing pug on Wall Street

Any kind of art is controversial, and statues are no exception. Considering that they are usually made in honor of famous people, objects or events, sculptures simply cannot be treated equally by all people. Therefore, it is not surprising that ordinary statues are often the cause of contention.

1. Lucifer of Liege

"Lucifer of Liege" - a statue in the Cathedral of St. Paul in the Belgian city of Liege. The official name of the statue is Le genie du mal (Genius of Evil). It was made in 1848 by the sculptor Guillaume Guifes. But few people know that in fact, the "Genius of Evil" was not the original statue of Lucifer, created for the church. Earlier it was born L'ange du mal ("Angel of Evil"), which was made by Guillaume's brother, Joseph in 1842.

Lucifer from Liege

But the "Angel of Evil" caused heated controversy soon after it was installed in the cathedral. The holy fathers were worried that the statue was too beautiful for the devil and were afraid that this would negatively affect the children who attended the church. They instructed Guillaume to sculpt a replacement for her. The second sculpture (already the work of Guillaume) is also remarkable for its unique beauty. The folded wings seem to protect the devil, who is sitting in a posture of repentance. At his feet lies a bitten forbidden fruit - an apple.

READ ALSO: Lucifer Liege: the secret of one of the most magnificent sculptures of a fallen angel

2. A statue of a brown dog

The brown dog statue in London's Battersea district sparked controversy so much that it even led to civil unrest in the early 20th century. Interestingly, the current statue was installed to replace the original one. The first dog monument was dismantled after a series of public protests and riots between vivisectionists (people who supported the use of animals for experiments) and anti-vivisectionists (who opposed the practice).

Monument to the dog in the London borough of Battersea

The original statue was erected by anti-vivisectionists in 1906. It was dedicated to all dogs, in particular the "brown dog", which was used for a series of operations over two months at University College London in 1903. A plaque attached to the statue's pedestal was engraved with an entire petition criticizing the use of dogs in operations.

On December 10, 1907, 1,000 medical students (who were vivisectionists) marched in front of the statue in Trafalgar Square, and another 100 in Battersea. Fearing that the vivisectionists would damage the statue, the police posted a 24-hour guard near it. In 1910, the police and city council agreed to remove the statue, and a replacement was only installed in 1985.

3. J. Marion Sims

Monument to the father of modern gynecology J. Marion Sims

J. Marion Sims is considered the father of modern gynecology. In the 1840s, he developed a treatment for vesivovaginal fistula, in which fluid from the bladder begins to leak into the vagina (a situation that sometimes leads to childbirth). In addition, Sims also founded the first hospital for women in New York and invented new surgical methods for treating "female" diseases. However, he remains a highly controversial figure among women, despite his contributions to improving their health.

Women's protests at the monument

He used black female slaves for many of his experiments, and also performed his fistula surgeries on the women he bought without anesthesia. For his work, Sims was awarded a statue in Central Park, and the women slaves were simply forgotten.The statue has been the subject of controversy since 1959 and was eventually demolished in April 2018 after a series of protests.

4. Blue Mustang of Death

The blue mustang is a 9.8 meter high blue horse statue located near the Denver International Airport. The statue has gone into disrepute since its installation, with critics even calling it "Blucifer" (derived from "blue Lucifer"). It is not hard to understand why the "Blue Mustang" has so few fans, because his eyes glow red at night.

The blue mustang of Death

Although the sculptor Luis Jimenez argued that the statue should symbolize the Wild West, many believe that such a nuance with the horse's eyes only made the statue devilish and ugly. Also, fuel was added to the fire by the fact that Jimenez himself was killed by part of his own statue, which fell on his head in the studio. He never finished Blue Mustang until his death in 2006, with his sons finishing the job. Since the statue was erected near the airport entrance in 2008, the barrage of criticism has not abated. However, the authorities do nothing, hoping that people will get used to the Blue Mustang.

5. Pissing pug

In May 2017, artist Alex Gardega added a pug statue to the Fearless Girl and Attacking Bull statues on Wall Street in New York. Attacking Bull has been installed on Wall Street since 1985 and has long since become a local landmark, while Fearless Girl was added just a year ago. Its creator, sculptor Kristen Wiesbal, said she is trying to make a statement about gender equality with her piece.

"Fearless Girl" and "Charging Bull" on Wall Street

The sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who created Attacking Bull, protested the installation of Fearless Girl right in front of his statue. He said it would completely change the meaning of his statue, which has nothing to do with gender equality. And Gardega didn't care if Fearless Girl had anything to do with gender equality or not.

A small detail that made a lot of noise

He simply added a small statue of a pug with his paw raised and peeing at the girl in protest. Needless to say, what a scandal has erupted among feminists and women's "right" groups. Actress Debra Messing even called Gardega "a misogynistic pathetic bastard." As a result, the sculptor himself removed his statue just three hours later, out of fears that someone would steal it.

6. Statue of Karl Marx

Karl Marx is considered the founder of communism. His political theories, which are still being studied in countries like China, are called Marxism. It is not surprising that the West “does not tolerate” Marx and his theories, as well as the fact that his 4, 5-meter statue caused a stormy controversy in the German city of Trier (moreover, this statue was also a gift from China).

Statue of Karl Marx in Trier

The Trier City Council spent two years discussing whether this gift should be accepted at all or not. They feared that this might make people think they support the human rights crimes committed by the Chinese government. The German branch of the international organization of Pen Writers said Trier should not erect the statue until China frees Liu Xia, the wife of the late Liu Xiaobo (Nobel Peace Prize laureate), who was under house arrest. Around the time the statue was unveiled in Trier in May 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech praising Marx and Marxism.

7. Statue of Unity

Until now, we have been talking about completed statues, but there is a unique case with a statue that has not yet been built, which has already caused heated controversy. The height of the "Statue of Oneness", which is being built in India, will be 182 meters when completed, making it the tallest statue in the world. Currently, this record belongs to China, where the height of the Buddha of the Spring Temple is 153 meters. For comparison, the height of the famous Statue of Liberty is 93 meters (including the pedestal).

The Statue of Unity is the tallest, the most expensive and the most ambiguous

The Statue of Unity will be erected in honor of Sardar Vallabhai Patel, First Deputy Prime Minister of India, one of the people who fought for the country's independence. Many have already criticized the monument for its price, and also for fears that it has hidden political overtones. The statue is worth over $ 430 million, so most critics argue that Patel himself would never have allowed that kind of money to be spent on his statue if he were alive. The emphasis is also on the fact that this money would be better spent on helping the millions of Indians living in poverty. Many suspect that Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who commissioned the statue, was trying to use Patel's figure to promote his party.

8. Petra

In 2011, artist Marcel Walldorf caused a scandal in Dresden, Germany after he presented his work "Peter" - a statue of a police officer who crouched to urinate. For added realism, there is a yellow puddle of gelatin on the floor. Waldorf presented his sculpture at the Leinemann Leinemann Foundation's Fine Arts Competition, where he won the first prize of € 1,000.

Article "Peter". Written by Marcel Walldorf

Then the statue was exhibited at the Academy of Fine Arts, after which a heated controversy began. Critics said it was an insult to all police officers. The German Police Union added that the sculpture "violated the limits of artistic freedom." Many began writing to the academy expressing their disgust.

9. Reply of Christ the Redeemer

Surely everyone knows the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It turns out that there is a 37-meter copy of it in Lima, Peru. It was commissioned by former Peruvian President Alan Garcia in 2011 as a personal gift to the people of Peru. The statue was co-financed by the Brazilian engineering firm Odebrecht and President Garcia (Garcia contributed 100,000 Peruvian salts and Odebrecht added $ 830,000).

Replica of Christ the Redeemer

In fact, Odebrecht did not contribute that huge amount of money, as it is clearly not a charitable organization. He got a lucrative contract for the construction of a highway between Brazil and Peru, where he saved "a little" money. The monument had more critics than supporters. He was condemned for enormous costs and unoriginality. Some were surprised that Garcia spent such a huge amount on a replica of the more popular statue. And the Peruvian architecture students even organized a series of protests to demonstrate their discontent.

10. HE

"HE" is a statue of Adolf Hitler kneeling in prayer. As if the very existence of this statue was not enough, its sculptor Maurizio Cattelan wanted to exhibit it in the former Warsaw ghetto in 2012 (more precisely, at the Center for Contemporary Art located in its place). It is estimated that approximately 300,000 Jews either died or were sent to concentration camps from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Unsurprisingly, the Jews raised a wave of protest.

Hitler in prayer

The head of the Israeli division of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Ephraim Zuroff, said: "Hitler's only prayer was that the Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth." Cattelan himself and his supporters stated that the statue was intended only to make people understand that even the most innocent things can turn evil.

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