The Pope is arriving in Malta and there is something the mayor of Luqa John Schembri desperately hopes the holy pontiff will not see. The object is a monument near the airport which looks, er, like a 10 foot tall blue penis. The Colonna Mediterranea, an avant-garde piece of art, was installed in 2006 and has since been a vertical crisis for an island famous for lateral thinking.
With the Pope’s planned arrival on 17 and 18 April, Schembri issued a statement asking for it to be removed. It said: ‘…the Pope’s first visit among us risks being a source of embarrassment to the people of Luqa and the Maltese in general.’
The sculptor of the offending piece, Paul Vella Critien, is not impressed. An article in the UK’s Daily Telegraph quoted him, ‘The mayor knows nothing about fine art, he’s just a man in the street. It certainly wasn’t my intention to make it look like a penis. If I had wanted to create a giant penis, believe me I would have known how to do it.’