Row erupts in Malta over a colourful monument deemed offensive to the Pope

Row erupts in Malta over a colourful monument deemed offensive to the Pope April 13, 2010

A ROW has broken out in Malta over an artwork in the village of Luqa, ahead of the Pope’s visit on April 17.
The local council, describing it as “a monument of shame” wants the thing removed before Ratzinger hits town.

The 'obscene' artwork, Colonna Mediterranea
But the Front Against Censorship said yesterday that it believes that the phallic-like sculpture on a roundabout outside the Lidl store should not be removed, not even temporarily for the Pope’s visit.

Such an act would classify as yet another obscene case of censorship, much in the same vein as the recent literature and theatre censorship cases.

It said it believed it was not within the remit of Luqa local council to decide what was acceptable for the Pope to view.

The implied logic that the monument be removed because it might be scandalous to the Pope is insulting both to the artist and to the general public.

The front said it regretted that this issue hade made international headlines, bringing ridicule on Malta.
In a statement issued on Monday, Luqa Mayor John Schembri said:

In the opinion of the council, the Pope’s first visit among us risks being a source of embarrassment to the people of Luqa and the Maltese in general, due to the obscene ‘monument’ which is still dominating the LIDL roundabout on one’s entry into the village.

Mr Schembri said that ever since this “parody of artistic expression” was erected, the council had never ceased to draw the attention of the central government to the fact that this monument, if indeed it deserved the name, constituted a vulgar insult as well as an arrogant imposition on the people of Luqa.

On this issue, the Council has already consulted and has the total backing of the ecclesiastical authorities of the village, who have in fact already written to complain about the absurd welcome immediately awaiting the Pope’s arrival at Luqa and have asked for a quick redress of the situation. There can be no doubt that, among the people of Luqa, there is a widespread cross-party consensus that the object placed at the entrance of Luqa is not the most fitting way in which to greet the Pope, especially by what is considered to be the most Catholic country in the world.

The twat bleated on:

Consequently, the Luqa Local Council is once again launching a firm and heartfelt appeal to Government, and particularly the Parliamentary Secretary in charge of Local Councils, to make a timely and mature intervention ordering the removal of this so-called work of art which has been lumped upon the village of Luqa.

And on:

If not out of respect for the residents of Luqa, this intervention is being requested at least as a sign of respect for His Holiness the Pope. This would, in the Council’s opinion, be a fitting conclusion to the current praiseworthy embellishment exercise being carried out in the Pope’s honour across the Maltese Islands.

Colonna Mediterranea, as the monument is actually called, is the work of Paul Vella Critien and was installed in January 2006. The monumental sculpture was said to be an abstract based on fantasy and the beauty of the Mediterranean colours.
Commented one wag beneath the Times of Malta report:

Why don’t we cover it with rubber. Wait better, not or else we will surely offend the Pope!

Malta is country that rarely gets mentioned on this blog, as nothing ever seems to happen in there, but what with the Pedobear graffiti and now the Luqa monument all on one week, it seems we will have to keep a much closer eye on this Mediterranean country in the future.
Hat Tip: Jen
Update: 13.04.2010: We have just learned that graffiti artists have struck again, this time with stencil graffiti of Pedobear sprayed on the choir stand next to the Pope’s stage on the Floriana granaries, where Mass will be heard on Sunday. Gosh, who ever imagined Malta could get so exciting.

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  • William Harwood

    Ratzinazi should feel flattered that Malta has a statue of him in a village he plans to visit.

  • William Harwood

    My apologies to any other prick that feels insulted at being compared to Ratzinazi.

  • Jen

    I bet he’s desperately wishing he could cancel this trip.
    “The Pope is ready to meet victims of clerical sex abuse when he visits Malta at the weekend, but only if the encounter is conducted in a “calm and discreet” atmosphere rather than under the media spotlight, his spokesman said today.”
    It’s not like anyone is paying attention to Malta right now…lololol – The story of this sculpture made it all the way to Russia!

  • Joe Fogey

    There is a poll in the Times of Malta, together with some more news of the welcome that the people of Malta are preparing for his Holiness here:

  • Jen

    Apparently the Times of Malta is a center-right publication, strong on Christian values, yet they seem to be enjoying being swept away in the liberal populist hubub they’ve found themselves in the center of.

  • The real fear is that this statue will cure the pope’s erectile dysfunction…..that will not do …..we cannot have the pope running about with a woody in public.

  • AngieRS

    It looks a lot better than the eyesore behind it.

  • pipkin1972

    Just cover it up,i’m sure the pope would appreciate that.

  • NeoWolfe

    My bet is that if a powerful eccentric vibrator was installed in the statue, the pope would become a permanent resident. Of course, members of his entourage would need to clean the holy ass matter off the statue and sterylize it on a daily basis. Otherwise, his holiness might get a butt fungus.

  • RussellW

    The Vatican should adopt the sculpture as its new logo.It seems a more appropriate symbol of the Church than crossed keys and it certainly would have a higher recognition factor,particularly among the youngest menbers of a congregation.

  • gsw

    “as a sign of respect for His Holiness the Pope”
    Hmmm, how can I put it, either the papa-ratzi has one, and knows what they look like, or he hasn’t and doesn’t.
    Bit like the old English joke about a true lady cannot be offended by swearing because she will not understand it.
    I can’t say that my experience in this area is very great, but it seems to me that minarets are a lot more phallic than this statue.

  • Richard T

    Perhaps the offending monument could be covered by a suitably close fitting, thin latex sheathing during His Holiness’ visit?

  • Ronnie A

    The monument shouldn’t be removed because the Nazist Inquisitor is coming to Malta, but it shouldn’t ahve been erected in the first place. It was a total waste of taxpayers money. (BTW the eyesore behind the monument is now painted in a different colour)

  • Janstince

    Richard T – don’t forget the lube! I bet a lot of Catholic boys wished they had the aid of some lube. Not to make fun of them, it is highly important to minimize chafing, particularly where those bastard priests stuck it. Inflammation, infection, etc.

  • Martin Hatchuel

    No! Don’t let the Pope see another prick! Too close to home!

  • Neuseline

    So, Malta is the most catholic country in the world? Even more catholic than the Vatican?

  • Jen

    I believe Malta is the most Catholic real country in the world, yes.

    The Facebook group to save the ‘Zobb Monument’ is so delightful. There are some great shoops in the photo section, and a lot of other good stuff being posted. Over 4500 members already! Malta is spending 750K euros for the pope’s visit, btw.
    I don’t think the pope has stated whether he will meet with the abuse victims as requested. He seems to be waffling on it.

  • NeoWolfe

    Richard T, Janstice,
    It’s not like I had a copyright, but can’t you guys write your own material?

  • ZarathustraMike

    The REAL problem here is that Poop RatNazi is offensive to the entire Planet! He should be forced to take that huge penis into his rectum, if he goes to Malta. Apparently that’s his favorite form of recreation…… Sodomy, especially on little boys!

  • Pingback: Maltese sculptor hits back at mayor who labeled his artwork “phallic” & “obscene”()

  • Scott

    Doesn’t this say more about the critics than the artist? I guess sexual repression can fog the vision somewhat, but not all vertical objects are phallic. The pencil I use (OMG PENcil…I was wrong it IS phallic…and I chew the end…NO!!!!!) is just a pencil. This sculpture can be critiqued as a sculpture – I think it’s rubbish – but forget the phallic stuff. If the Pope wants to get offended, let him. This is the same grovelling, spineless behaviour that allows the persecution of British authors and Danish cartoonists. It’s not the penis, it’s the lack of balls that’s the problem.

  • larner mizzi

    I still have mixed feelings about this Dick Penis Zobb whatever you all call it lol, But I think its made a good media affair world wide lol. April fool joke or not everyone has freedom of speech. But I think we should move it still to a much more better place more attracted more well appreciated too & we all have much… more better places for it, for Example the new parliament in Valletta or maybe the Vat department in Ta Paris or the department of tax! if the government is not ashamed of it where it is i guess moving it or making a replica would not be a bother? if its such that much a great piece of art as thay are saying? Ohh may i ask does anyone know the price tag of this piece of art tax payers would love to know as it had media news!

  • brinu

    Vulgar and stupid.