The phallic-looking potato monument in Cyprus that was reported on worldwide when it was unveiled in October has been spruced up with fairy lights and a gold star ahead of Christmas.
Images of this bizarre monument did the rounds on social media after it was erected at a village entrance to honour the community’s local spud.
The phallic potato was installed in the village of Xylofagou near Ayia Napa in Cyprus. Xylofagou is among a group of similar villages known as the ‘Kokkinochoria’ (‘Red Villages’), famous for growing vegetables, particularly potatoes, in red soil.
‘The Big Potato’ sculpture was built to honour the Red Villages ahead of the autumn Potato Festival.
However, online critics said it did not look anything like a potato and is more phallic in appearance, with some even comparing it to a sex toy.
Xylofagou community leader George Tasou said it is a good thing that the statue has attracted so much attention, adding: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”
He said: “I wanted this potato to become a point of reference in the community, and I am glad as the defamation taking place is actually the best advert for us.”
The community leader added: “I am sure that all those who criticise the work will come here to be photographed with the potato.”
After many netizens agreed that the statue appears phallic, he pointed out that the monument is based on the elongated Spunta (seed potato) grown in the area.
Tasou, who said the project has the full support of the Ministry of Tourism, added: “We are certain that it will become an attraction for thousands of tourists.”
At the time, local comedian Stevie Georgiou said “we’ve managed to turn Xylofagou into the hosts of the 2021 International Penis Awards”, adding that he can “wholeheartedly say we are the laughing stock of Europe”.
However, in the hope of whipping up further interest in the monument, organisers have spruced it up with festive decoration ahead of Christmas.
Tasou told the Cyprus Mail: “It is very beautiful, everyone who sees it is excited.
“Last night, when we completed the decorating process, there were a lot of people there.
“Since the day we erected it, not a day passes without visitors. There are a lot of people daily.”
He also believes that the statue can act as a distraction from the “difficult times of the pandemic”, adding that it has helped to boost business in the area.