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French Town Fights Vandals By Endowing Statue With a Removable Penis

Of the incident, Arcachon, France’s Mayor Yves Foulon told Sud Ouest newspaper: "I wouldn't want anyone—not even my worst enemies—to go through what happens to this statue.”

What happens to the statue, a 10-foot-tall effigy of Hercules, is regular vandalism targeted where it hurts the Greek God known for his self-confidence and virility the most: his penis.

As Mashable reports, the sculpture in Parc Mauresque was designed by Claude Bouscau in the ‘40s, and even then, the phallus was a point of contention. Bouscau reduced the size of the organ following criticism over its length, and since then, it’s been desecrated so often that officials have decided to outfit Hercules with a removable penis. The piece will only adorn the figure during special occasions and ceremonies and the sculpture will be free of its manhood the rest of the time.

It’s an unorthodox, but perhaps ingenious, way to combat vandals who have left poor Hercules with nothing more than a thin metal rod between his legs. Plus, it makes life easier for law enforcement. Deputy Mayor Martine Phellipot told Sud Ouest: “This is the best solution. Otherwise you just end up constantly chasing after the anatomy of Hercules.”

[h/t Mashable]

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Art
A Beached Whale Sculpture Popped Up on the Banks of Paris's Seine River
Original image
iStock

In Paris, dozens of fish varieties live in the Seine River. Now, the Associated Press reports that the famous waterway is home to a beached whale.

Rest assured, eco-warriors: The sperm whale is actually a lifelike sculpture, installed on an embankment next to Notre Dame Cathedral by Belgian artists’ collective Captain Boomer. It’s meant to raise environmental awareness, and evoke "the child in everyone who still is puzzled about what is real and what is not,” collective member Bart Van Peel told the Associated Press.

The 65-foot sculpture has reportedly startled and confused many Parisians, thanks in part to a team of fake scientists deployed to “survey” the whale. One collective member even posted a video on social media, warning Parisians that there “may be others in the water” if they opt to take a dip in the river, The Local reported.

The whale sculpture is only temporary—but as for Captain Boomer, this isn’t their first whale-related stunt. Last summer, the collective installed a similar riverside artwork in Rennes, France, and they also once strapped a large-scale whale sculpture to the back of a truck and drove it around France.

[h/t Associated Press]

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Art
Artist Makes Colorful Prints From 1990s VHS Tapes

A collection of old VHS tapes offers endless crafting possibilities. You can use them to make bird houses, shelving units, or, if you’re London-based artist Dieter Ashton, screen prints from the physical tape itself.

As Co.Design reports, the recent London College of Communication graduate was originally intrigued by the art on the cover of old VHS and cassette tapes. He planned to digitally edit them as part of a new art project, but later realized that working with the ribbons of tape inside was much more interesting.

To make a print, Ashton unravels the film from cassettes and VHS tapes collected from his parents' home. He lets the strips fall randomly then presses them into tight, tangled arrangements with the screen. The piece is then brought to life with vibrant patterns and colors.

Ashton has started playing with ways to incorporate themes and motifs from the films he's repurposing into his artwork. If the movie behind one of his creations isn’t immediately obvious, you can always refer to its title. His pieces are named after movies like Backdraft, Under Siege, and that direct-to-video Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen classic Passport to Paris.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

Screen print made from an old VHS tape.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of Dieter Ashton

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