Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.

The statue of Heracles missing its member earlier this year (photo via @alwaysasiren/Instagram)

Heracles is famous for his sexual prowess, but one nude statue of him in a park in France will now largely go phallus-free. Authorities in the southwestern town of Arcachon have decided to bestow a 10-foot-tall statue of the Greek hero with a prosthetic penis, to be affixed only during ceremonies, as daily Sud-Ouest first reported. It appears that local hooligans, apparently quite thirsty for a piece of Heracles, often steal his marble member, and the detachable piece is the best solution officials could come up with to put an end to the shenanigans.

“I wouldn’t want anyone — not even my worst enemies — to go through what happened to this statue,” Mayor Yves Foulon said, according to Sud Ouest.

Shaped by local sculptor Claude Bouscau, the statue was erected in 1948 in Parc Mauresque. During its inauguration, some women were apparently so scandalized by the the dimensions of Heracles’s manhood Bouscau had to scale it back not once, but twice. The measurements of the detachable one is uncertain, but when it’s not in place, only a small, sad rod for it to fasten onto protrudes from the area.

The Latest

Required Reading

This week, LA’s new Academy Museum, the intersections of anti-Blackness and anti-fatness, a largely unknown 19th century Black theater in NYC, sign language interpreters, and more.


Claire Voon

Claire Voon is a former staff writer for Hyperallergic. Originally from Singapore, she grew up near Washington, D.C. and is now based in Chicago. Her work has also appeared in New York Magazine, VICE,...