Sunday, February 3, 2013

Giant penis protest hits St. Petersburg

In a piece of cutting political commentary, a group of artists have protested about heightened security in the Russian city of St. Petersburg by drawing a giant 220ft-long penis on a drawbridge. (June 2010)


Passers-by stare at the giant penis on the Liteiny Bridge in St. Petersburg, as it rises to let river traffic through
The massive penis was created by the radical art collective Voina, or War, who painted the organ on the bridge to highlight the security measures that will be put in place when St. Petersburg hosts the International Economic Forum from June 17.

Measuring 65 metres (220 ft) long and 27 metres across, the big penis rises and glistens in the light whenever the bridge is raised to let ships pass beneath, framed against a backdrop of the imposing architecture of the former capital city of the Russian Empire.

‘We have painted a giant phallus to show what the FSB and Interior Ministry are doing in terms of security for the forum,’ Voina said in a statement. The FSB is Russia’s main internal security agency, the successor to the KGB – and when the bridge is raised, the now-erect penis stands right beside its local headquarters.

The International Economic Forum will bring together politicians, including  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, and international business leaders.

The penis was painted on Monday, and one of the Voina artists has subsequently been fined by police over the penis. The penis was still visible on Wednesday.


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