Tis the season to be cheeky: It’s only October, but artist Paul McCarthy has already gifted Paris with an 80-foot Christmas tree, erected in the venerable Place Vendome. But the sculpture, simply named “Tree,” has sparked outrage in the City of Lights because passersby are mistaking it for a giant green sex toy.
McCarthy is known for provocative sculptures, like a giant inflatable pile of poop in Hong Kong, Santa Claus holding a phallic tree in Rotterdam and two animatronic George W. Bushes having sex with pigs in London. So we can call this a tree, but no one’s fooled.
Least of all the anti-gay group French Spring, which protested France’s marriage equality law. The group tweeted their disapproval on Wednesday, writing “A sex toy giant 24m high will Be installed at Place Vendome. Taxpayers , this is where your your tax dollars are going!”
The group also says the work “disfigured” the Place Vendome and has “humiliated” Paris.
In all fairness, if Paris was worried about being humiliated by a giant phallic structure, it would’ve thrown a modesty sheet over the Eiffel Tower 125 years ago.