Pis pug, Lucifer and other controversial sculptures, which caused a lot of controversy
Any kind of art is controversial, and statues are no exception. Given that they are made, as a rule, in honor of famous people, objects or events, sculptures simply cannot have the same attitude for all people. Therefore, it is not surprising that often ordinary statues are the cause of contention.
1. Lucifer from 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 Gifs. But few people know that in fact the “Genius of Evil” was not the original statue of Lucifer, created for the church. Before it was born L’ange du mal (“Angel of Evil”), which was made by the brother of Guillaume, Joseph in 1842.
But the “Angel of Evil” provoked heated debate shortly 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 church. They instructed Guillaume to sculpt a replacement for her. The second sculpture (already by Guillaume) is also notable for its unique beauty. The folded wings seem to protect the devil, sitting in a pose of repentance. At his feet lies a bitten forbidden fruit – an apple.
2. Statue of a brown dog
The brown dog statue in Battersea, London, sparked such heated debate that it even led to public unrest in the early 20th century. Interestingly, the current statue was installed to replace the original. The very first monument to the dog was dismantled after a series of public protests and riots between vivisectionists (people who supported the use of animals for experiments) and antivisectionists (who opposed this practice).
The original statue was erected by antivisectionists in 1906. It was dedicated to all dogs, in particular the “brown dog,” which was used for a series of operations for two months at a university college in London in 1903. On a plaque attached to the pedestal of the statue, an entire petition was engraved criticizing the use of dogs in operations.
On December 10, 1907, 1,000 medical students (who were vivisectionists) held a protest march in front of the statue on Trafalgar Square, and another 100 in Battersea. Fearing that vivisectionists would damage the statue, the police put a 24-hour guard near it. In 1910, the police and city council agreed to remove the statue, and a replacement was established only 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 (childbirth sometimes leads to this situation). 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 contribution to improving their health.
He used black slaves for many of his experiments, and also performed his fistula treatments on the women he bought without anesthesia. For his work, Sims was awarded a statue in Central Park, and everyone simply forgot about the female slaves. The statue has been the subject of controversy since 1959 and was eventually demolished in April 2018 after a series of protests.
4. The Blue Mustang of Death
The Blue Mustang is a 9.8-meter-high blue horse statue that is installed near Denver International Airport. The statue has gained notoriety since its installation, and critics even called it “Blucifer” (derivative of “Blue Lucifer”). It is easy to understand why the “Blue Mustang” has so few fans, because his eyes glow at night in red.
Although the sculptor Luis Jimenez claimed that the statue should symbolize the Wild West, many believe that such a nuance with the eyes of a horse only made the statue diabolical and ugly. Also, the fact that Jimenez himself was killed by part of his own statue, which fell on his head in the studio, added fuel to the fire. He never finished the Blue Mustang until his death in 2006, and his sons completed the work. Since the statue was installed near the entrance to the airport in 2008, a flurry of criticism has not subsided. However, the authorities are not doing anything, hoping that people will get used to the “Blue Mustang.”