Dangerous Curves | 

‘Provocative’ curvaceous mermaid statue causes stir in Italian fishing town

“It looks like a mermaid with two silicone breasts and, above all, a huge arse never seen before on a mermaid”

Mermaid in Puglia (Image: Monopoli Times)

Tail (Image: Monopoli Times)

Anna Livia statue

Níall Feiritear

A buxom depiction of a mermaid in fishing village in Puglia, Italy, has caused a stir amongst locals for being “too provocative.”

The voluptuous statue was placed in one of Monopoli’s squares after being designed and created by students at the nearby Luigi Rosso art school.

“It looks like a mermaid with two silicone breasts and, above all, a huge arse never seen before on a mermaid. At least not any I know,” said Italian actor Tiziana Schiavarelli.

The town’s local council had commissioned the artwork which has caused apparent “perplexity” in some quarters.

Ms Schiavarelli said many of her friends were surprised by the monument but that it may bring benefits to the small city.

“But I am very amused by this thing, who knows if it will become a further attraction for tourists,” she said, after social media uproar in Italy over the curvy nymph.

Tail (Image: Monopoli Times)

Despite some of the more conservative reactions, the local art school head teacher made a fantastic point.

Adolfo Marciano said the statue is a “tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy.”

Adolfo explained that the students were tasked by the mayor of Monopoli to create several statues for the town, including one on the theme of the sea.

“The students got together and came up with the idea of a mermaid,” Marciano said. “The council was shown the scale model and said it was good, and then decided the completed sculpture would be placed in the square.”

Marciano said he did judge the students’ source of inspiration but that he viewed the work “as a representation of reality, in this case of the female body”.

“You see adverts on television with models who are very thin, but the mermaid is like a tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy, especially in our country.

“It would have been very bad if we had represented a woman who was extremely skinny. It’s a shame as the art students deserve to be praised instead of criticised,” he said.

The mermaid controversy in Puglia has echoes of the Anna Livia statue which used to sit in the centre of O’Connell Street.

Anna Livia statue

Designed by the sculptor Eamonn O’Doherty, the monument was commissioned by businessman Michael Smurfit for the Millennium celebrations in 1988.

The woman was a representation of the River Liffey and named after a character in Finnegan’s Wake.

The river was represented as a young woman sitting on a slope with water flowing past her and it caused a stir at the time.

Dubliners nicknamed it the "Floozy in the Jacuzzi", but this was encouraged by the sculptor.

The monument was removed from its site on O'Connell Street in 2001 to make room for the Spire.

In late February 2011, partly reworked and refurbished, the statue was relocated to Croppies Memorial Park near Heuston Station.

Today's Headlines

More Real Life

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos