Jeff Koons’s “Bouquet of Tulips” monument was defaced with graffiti, the French newspaper Le Parisien reported last week. On Thursday, November 7, the Paris police reported a graffiti tag sprayed in red on the sculpture’s bronze plaque. The graffiti read, “11 Trous du c …,” which can translate to “11 Holes of the butt …”
The tag is a clear reference to French philosopher Yves Michaud’s famous article in the daily magazine L’Obs in which he described Koons’s tulips as “Eleven colored anuses mounted on stems.” Michaud also coined the term “culipes” for the sculpture — a combination of the French words “cul” (buttocks) and “tulipe” for tulips — which quickly became a popular reference to the monument on social media.
The city of Paris, which owns the sculpture, has sent a special cleaning crew to quickly remove the tag, according to Le Parisien. A police investigation is ongoing. The vandal has not yet been identified.
Last week, prior to the vandalization, Hyperallergic visited the sculpture to gauge the reactions of Parisians and tourists about Koons’s gift to the city of lights. One passerby asserted: “Yeah, they do look like buttholes! It’s not crazy to think that.”