In the town of Monopoli, in southern Italy, a provocative statue depicting a curvy-haired mermaid has made waves.
The artwork is located in a newly created square in Puglia, named Piazza Rita Levi Montalcini after an Italian scientist who won the Nobel Prize.
The artwork was created after a request from the local municipality by students of the Luigi Rosso Art School in Monopoli. It is situated near a playground for children. The project is part of an EUR350,000 (PS310,000), redevelopment plan for the area.
Adolfo Marciano said that the statue is a tribute to “the great majority of curvy women”.
The Guardian reported that “the students came up with an idea for a mermaid.” The council approved the model after seeing it in scale. They then decided to place the finished sculpture on the square.
“You often see ads on TV with very thin models, but this mermaid is a tribute to all the curvy women, especially those in our country. It would have looked very bad to represent a woman that was extremely thin.
It is not surprising that the statue has sparked equal passions on social media. One Twitter user asked, “But who inspired this?” “Kim Kardashian?”
Tiziana Schiavarelli wrote on Facebook about a friend in Monopoli who was “rightly confused” by the monument.
It doesn’t appear to be the image of a famous scientist at first glance. It looks more like a mermaid, with the biggest ass you’ve ever seen. “At least the ones I’m familiar with.”
Ms Schiavarelli said that she did not “mind the authors or the municipal administration in Monopoli”, but it “amuses” her a great deal. Who knows? Maybe it will become a tourism attraction.
A Monopoli resident echoed that sentiment on Twitter. “Monopoli is in all the papers for a big, bad mermaid. That’s us!”
The statue has yet to be officially unveiled.