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Joop's cemetery 'penis statue' irks German mourners

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Joop's cemetery 'penis statue' irks German mourners
Wolfgang Joop in an archive photo. Photo: DPA
16:13 CEST+02:00
German fashion designer Wolfgang Joop is stirring up a bizarre controversy at the Bornstedter cemetery in Potsdam with a well-endowed statue at his family burial site, German daily Bild reported on Monday.

"It really doesn't need to be in a cemetery," said Bärbel Zöll, 66, of the sandstone angel statue as she tended her mother's grave. "An angel doesn't have a sex. Mr. Joop could've at least had it covered with an angel wing," she told the paper.

Joop, 63, commissioned the statue to adorn the site where his father Gerhard is buried. The statue had the face of a young boy, the belly of an old man, angel wings instead of arms - and a rather prominent member. Bild reports the site has become a controversial topic of discussion among the town's residents and mourners at the cemetery.

"A conservator made the sculpture according to my instructions," Joop told the paper. "But I didn't specify how big the genitals should be."

Joop said the sculpture's angel wings are meant to symbolize the state of a person "at the end of his path" whose wizened hands turn to wings to prepare to ascend to heaven.

"The row is over the fact that you can tell the angel is masculine," Joop told Bild. "My mother also said that the penis could've been a bit smaller - but it was already finished by then."

The paper reported that Joop is pleased the "penis statue" has caused such a stir.

"Now the sleepy cemetery has a real attraction," he said.

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