All worthy art, it's said, is open to interpretation. Where one person sees an inflatable christmas tree, another, no doubt, notices a giant green plug for your rectum. Naturally.
At least in Paris’ Place Vendome, where a hugely controversial sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy offended anal right-wing groups enough that it was vandalized over the weekend. The culprits allegedly unplugged the air pump keeping the structure upright; then, as a security guard fixed it back in place, they cut the 79ft-tall sculpture’s supporting wires.
Reduced to a green blob, the ruined sculpture was in such bad shape that it was deflated and swiftly removed from the square.
Despite earlier reports that said France’s International Fair of Contemporary Art, FIAC, was working to restore “Tree”, according to the Guardian, McCarthy has no plans to revive the work.
“I don’t want to be mixed up in this type of controversy and physical violence, or even to keep taking the risks associated with this work”, McCarthy told the AFP.
The peculiar incident occurred a day after one man reportedly slapped the 69-year-old sculptor in the face three times.
French police are still searching for the cheeky criminals.
Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. She thinks whoever found the sculpture to be a pain in the ass clearly had a stick up theirs. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.