UnNews:Statue castrated

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12 January 2007

Oops

Statue, with and without its offending organ

NEW YORK, NY - Last Friday, with appropriate fanfare, including a catered luncheon during which the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s chief curator, Malcolm Xavier Hollander, introduced the Antiquities Collection’s latest acquisition, a herm that had been sought after by other major museums across Europe and throughout the United States. Today, Hollander announced, the herm has been vandalized.

A herm, short for Hermes, is a rectangular stone or bronze pillar topped with a bust of the Greek messenger god, Hermes and equipped, near its base, with an erect phallus. The statue was located at crossroads to mark boundaries and to protect sites of worship. The Romans adopted these statues, using them for decorative purposes.

Apparently, someone was offended by the statue’s aroused state, as the vandalism that it suffered was to its male member,” Hollander confided: “The herm was castrated, its phallus, including the testicles, broken off and carried away.”

Hollander says the damage is “incalculable,” as the piece is “priceless.” It is difficult for him to “fathom the sort of prudish, philistine mentality,” he said, “that could conceive of such an outrage against the art of the ancients. The museum, the people of New York, and, indeed, the world are worse off as a result of this criminal act.”

Police are reviewing surveillance tapes of the pedestal upon which the herm rests in an alcove off the Antiquities Collection’s main chamber, where it had been placed temporarily until its permanent site could be prepared.

It is unclear as to whether the museum’s insurance will pay any of the $10 million for which the statue was insured, as the work of art was unprotected by motion sensors, alarms, and other security devices, and the security guard was in another area of the museum at the time of the vandalism. “We should have kept it downstairs, locked in a storage vault,” Hollander admitted, “but it never occurred to me that anyone would commit such an atrocity on so fine a piece of art.”

The police have no suspects as yet, but they are following several leads, Commissioner Bruce Bruno told reporters. “It’s a travesty, but, at the same time, in a way, it’s musing,” he said. “I mean, when’s the last time a statue got castrated?”

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