Mike the Psych's Blog

What if psychologists ruled the world? In real life?

Statues of naked women

The 66′ bronze statue of Verity by Damien Hirst, which he gifted to Ilfracombe for 20 years, has been the centre of some controversy.

Not least because of its explicit depiction of the pregnant women’s internal organs but also because Hirst, a multi-millionaire, has been accused of plagiarism and doesn’t actually do much work on his artistic products but uses a production line paying workers £11 an hour.

Local businesses are mostly happy however because all the publicity has generated a record number of visitors. Which will also make Hirst happy as he has a restaurant there and plans to build 500 homes in the town.

However it’s not the only large statue of a woman overlooking a waterfront.

In Konstanz, Germany, there is a 9 metre statue of a well-endowed courtesan called Imperia which was erected in 1993 overlooking the harbour and which you  can’t fail to notice.

She holds two naked figures; Pope Martin V in one hand and the Emperor Sigismund in the other, and rotates every 4 minutes.

It was created by Peter Lenk based on a satirical story by Balzac, “La Belle Imperia”  about the corrupt catholic clergy and Imperia’s seduction of priests and princes alike at the 15c Council of Constance. (The real Imperia, an Italian courtesan called Lucrezia de Paris, never actually visited Konstanz).

FYI There are other sculptures in Konstanz which are rather bizarre (so ideal for a future post) and which some of the conservative catholic locals I talked to find disgusting.

Both statues are talking points and perhaps that is just the point of this art.

Less artistically perhaps there is this oversized version (on the right) of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen not far from the real thing (below).

One thing you may not know about the real Little Mermaid statue is that she doesn’t have a fish tail but legs so is she a real mermaid without a tail?

The mermaid basking by the river in the Uzupis district of Vilnius certainly has one.