A giant inflatable green sculpture was reduced to a heap on Saturday after vandals attacked the work that has been causing outrage.
Unveiled on Thursday on the Vendome Square, the 80 foot high artwork by American artist Paul McCarthy, called “Tree,” provoked a storm of outrage on social media over its resemblance to a sex toy called a butt-plug.
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The 69-year-old contemporary artist is known for his controversial and ambiguous works, but even he was surprised at the reception he got in Paris, better known for its relaxed attitude toward sexual matters, reports AFP
On Saturday, vandals cut the cables with which the offending “Tree” was kept in place, leaving it slumped on the pavement and a security guard with no choice but to deflate it, a police source told AFP.
“Individuals waited until the security guard’s attention was elsewhere and cut the cable the kept the sculpture in place,” the source said on condition of anonymity.
“The inflated work slumped down,” the source said, adding that police were investigating the incident.
An official from the FIAC contemporary art fair which put on the exhibit said the offenders had in fact first unplugged the pump that kept the structure erect.
The FIAC said it intended to resurrect the sculpture as soon as technically possible.