Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Modesty forbids

For several years a female statue has graced the town hall of a small village in north east France without exciting any controversy. Hundreds of visitors have come and gone without it attracting much attention. Now suddenly the Mayor has decided it has to go "because her breasts are too big".

Gerard Cordon, Mayor of Neuville-en-Ferrain, claims the statue was embarrassing members of the public, particularly couples getting married. There would be tut-tutting and indignant comments about its suitability.

He has banned the statue and commissioned a more modest version with a less conspicuous bust.

The sculptor, Catherine Lamacque, is bemused by the decision. She says the figure depicts Marianne, the traditional female symbol of the French Republic, and says she gave it outsize breasts deliberately "to symbolise the generosity of the Republic". Furthermore the Mayor himself chose the original design.

But her comments don't impress Monsieur Cordon. Such artistic and cultural considerations are apparently less important than the over-reactions of a few squeamish villagers.

I have to wonder why anyone would be embarrassed by the statue. Presumably not women, who're very familiar with such items. And presumably not men, who're always entranced by such anatomical generosity.

I suspect if there was any embarrassment at all, it was on the part of women whose menfolk were paying rather too much attention to a female body that wasn't their own. Especially men about to get married, supposedly with eyes only for their dear beloved.

Or are there people so artistically-challenged that they're unaware of the huge number of female sculptures just as lavishly endowed and imagine this is some kind of perverted flourish on the part of the artist? Monsieur Cordon for one.

The fastidious Mayor really ought to get a grip and devote his time to more important business such as sheltering his village from the economic recession. Or just providing a few more benches in the local park.

Pic: the bust of Marianne

32 comments:

Leah said...

Oh dear. This is exactly the sort of silly false modesty that gets mothers some funny looks when they nurse in public...

Nick said...

Leah - That's true, breast-feeding gets similar tut-tutting from prudish individuals. But what could be more natural?

meno said...

I swear, we get sillier every day. I say put some underpants on the statue of David too!

Macy said...

Hi Nick, I just trolled off to google a photo of aforesaid statue...and can report back that I don't think the breasts looked too big. I think the problem might have been that it was a bad statue that looked like a particularly wooden porn star?

Nick said...

Meno - Funny, I was thinking of Michelangelo's David as well. Probably the Mayor would have replaced it because his cock wasn't big enough! And put on some underpants, natch.

Nick said...

Macy - I've just found the picture as well. Yes, it isn't a particularly inspired sculpture, but how anyone can object to it I fail to understand.

Grannymar said...

They could always cover it in a burka! ;)

nursemyra said...

I fear the mayor already 'got a grip' and it's his own embarrassment that he's ashamed of

Nick said...

Grannymar - That's an idea. And then put it in a locked cabinet in case someone peeks under the burka.

Myra - You could be right there. Seeing that statue every day has probably got him a bit over-excited.

Baino said...

Well they don't call it a 'bust' for nothing you know. Actually, a while ago there was a blog friend of mine who encountered the same thing in another country so he posted weekly photographs of nude statues in protest. Very narrow minded. I wonder if "David" is in strife? Then he's not very well endowed at all.

Nick said...

Baino - Has this guy never seen any nude statues before? Where has he been all these years? He should get out more....

Rummuser said...

The good Mayor must be sent to India to learn how buxom our Goddesses are depicted!

Nick said...

Ramana - Absolutely! Not to mention certain painters like Rubens and Renoir.

Los Angelista said...

Ha! Bring her to Los Angeles...we'll take her "lavishly endowded" bewbs. We like them that way out here. ;)

kylie said...

i get distracted by nakied statues

Nick said...

Liz - So I gather. Especially all those surgically-enhanced starlets. If Monsieur Cordon went to LA, he'd be squirming with embarrassment.

Kylie - What, of either sex? I didn't know you swung both ways. Or are you just scrutinising them for anatomical correctness?

newjenny said...

I love sexy statues. I'd like to be one in my next life.

Suburbia said...

What a waste of money and time!

Nick said...

newjenny - Not me, I'd prefer to be a cat. Lazing around in the sun until the next saucer of cream is ready....

Nick said...

Suburbia - Absolutely. The €900 he's spending on the replacement could buy a park bench or two, I imagine.

Eryl said...

I expect he's just trying to divers attention away from the rubbish job he's doing as Mayor.

nick said...

Eryl - That's very possible. Are the streets clean and tidy? Are the patisseries thriving? Are there plenty of places to play boules? Get your priorities right, Monsieur Cordon.

Liz said...

Is that the amended bust or the original? Looks pretty normal size to me.

Nick said...

Liz - It's the original sculpture, but I'm not surprised you couldn't tell. It's hardly gigantic.

Roses said...

I think it's a publicity stunt. To waste time and public money on such a sham is ridiculous.

Humpf.

my wv: vistrap. Quite.

Nick said...

Roses - Silly me, I never thought of that. At this time of year, there could well be local elections coming up. Is he angling for the puritan vote?

Scarlet Blue said...

Why didn't they just drape a fetching scarf over the offending pointy bits?
Sx

Nick said...

Scarlet - The ideal solution. But I suspect, as Roses suggested, there's some hidden agenda behind the Mayor's sudden touch of the vapours.

conortje said...

I would like to ban banning things!

Nick said...

Conor - Oh, there are plenty of things that definitely should be banned. But a visibly buxom statue isn't one of them.

Val said...

Not Cordon BLUE then!
;)

Nick said...

Val - Lol! I think he's just green with envy at those lovely plump breasts....