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Naked peeing giant statue divides locals

A sculpture in the central Swedish town of Örebro has hit a nerve with some local residents, who are unimpressed with the eight-metre tall man boy urinating in their river. Emma Cullen heads down to find out more.

Naked peeing giant statue divides locals

Each summer the city of Örebro becomes a canvas for international artists to present their work as part of the Örebro Open Art exhibition. This year, one particular sculpture has caused quite a stir since its installation on the banks of the River Svartån.

The provocative piece is an eight-metre high sculpture of a nude male figure urinating into the river. The statue, named “Bad Bad Boy”, is a far cry, however, from its chubby angelic counterpart Manneken Pis who famously spends his days peeing into a Brussels fountain.

“Bad Bad Boy” by Finnish artist Tommi Toija stands towering over the river bank with his disproportionate body: lanky and topped with an over-sized, round, bald head. His skin, made from clay, is a blistering sunburnt-pink, and his wide-eyed facial expression is as hard to decipher as the art itself.

The installation has prompted discussion between locals and opinion is certainly divided. One Örebro resident, 62-year-old Ebba, was mildly amused. “I think it’s interesting,” she told The Local. “But I am happy it is not here forever.”

Another local, 34-year-old Anna, said she “really hates” the artwork and found the act of urination “provocative”.

IN PICTURES: See more of the statue and find out what other residents had to say.

Whether you love it or hate it, there is definitely something unusual about the sculpture, which on sight causes an uneasy feeling in your stomach. Is it because he is urinating? Is it the wide-eyed expression on his face? Or is because the figure, although certainly male, is neither man nor child, nor even human?

Artist Tommi Toijas views his work in a somewhat pragmatic light: “For me, it’s just a guy peeing in the river, no more, no less. Some might see it as a funny thing, others might be provoked,” he said in a statement.

Some have certainly been provoked as the sculpture remains as central to conversation as the weather in Örebro. While locals seem more baffled than upset, there does seem to be a sense of uncomfortableness amongst many.

Nevertheless, “Bad Bad Boy” will continue relieving himself until the end of the exhibition, September 1st, whether locals like it or not.

Emma Cullen

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STATUE

Move Zlatan sculpture from Sweden to Milan where he’s appreciated, artist says

The sculptor whose towering bronze statue of Swedish football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was vandalised on Sunday has called for it to be moved to Milan.

Move Zlatan sculpture from Sweden to Milan where he's appreciated, artist says
Artist Peter Linde (right) on stage with Zlatan Ibrahimovic (left) before the statue was unveiled in October. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
The Italian city is where the footballer played at the peak of his career, representing both AC Milan and its bitter rival Inter Milan, and it is where he is returning this year for his footballing swan song at the former. 
 
“Stick it in Milan, that would be a good place. There they're happy for him, and not so idiotic as they are here,” Peter Linde told the Aftonbladet newspaper on Sunday.
 
Linde said, however, that he felt that it would be sad to give in to what he called “the forces of stupidity”. “Most of all, I'd like to think that we shouldn't move it, but I understand that perhaps we must,” he said. 
 
At 1.30am on Sunday, vandals sawed off both feet of the 2.7m bronze statue, causing it to topple over. The attack, like previous attempts to vandalise the statue, appears to have come as revenge against Ibrahimovic for his decision to invest in Hammarby IF, the Stockholm football team which is one of Malmö FF's bitterest rivals. 
 
The statue has since been moved to a secret location for repair. 
 
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In an interview with Italian journalists on January 2, the Swedish striker said that for him Milan was “home”. 
 
“I've always said that Milan is my home and finally I'm back,” he said, in halting Italian, shortly before holding his first press conference with AC Milan.  
 
According to Milan's trainer Stefano Pioli, the Swedish star seemed “completely unaffected” by the attack.
 
“I spoke with Zlatan less than five minutes ago and we spoke on other things, nothing at all about the statue,” Pioli said at a press conference on Sunday. “For me he seemed very calm and unaffected by what has happened.” 
 
Ibrahimovic first moved to Milan back in 2006 when he signed four-year contract with Inter Milan, ending his stint three years later as the Italian league's top goal scorer. 
 
He returned in August 2010 to play for AC Milan, initially on loan from Barcelona, ending his time as the league's top goal scorer, before moving to Paris Saint Germain in 2012. 
 
Håkan Sjöstrand, the General Secretary of the Swedish Football Association, said that he was in discussions with both LInde and Malmö's city government over the statue's future. 
 
“The statue first needs to be repaired and then it's up to Malmö's city government which owns the statue,” he said. 
 
Ibrahimovic was relegated to the bench for his first game back at AC Milan against Sampdoria on Monday, with Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek starting ahead of the former Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain player at the San Siro. 
 
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