Malta Town Wants 'Vulgar' Statue Removed for Papal Visit

A phallic sculpture in Luqa, Malta, has been deemed by some too “vulgar” to be seen by the pope, causing the town’s Mayor John Schembri to request that it be taken down for Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit. "The object... is not the most fitting way in which to greet the pope, especially by what is considered to be the most Catholic country in the world," he said, though the sculpture has been on display in Luqa since 2006. Paul Vella Critien, who created the sculpture, claims that it is actually a modern take on a symbol from ancient Egypt and not a phallic symbol, slamming critics of his work as “ignorant” and “uneducated.” There are no plans to actually remove the statue from public view, though Schembri has said he intends to appeal to the government for its removal.