‘Potato penis’ statue sparks ridicule – Cyprus village despairs

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What has been dubbed as the “potato penis” in the village of Xylofagou to the east of the island was intended to pay tribute to the local area’s distinctively long potato spuds. The village, near the popular destination of Ayia Napa, is one of a collection of areas famous for growing vegetables in red soil.

Collectively, these villages are known as the Red Villages.

The statue was erected on Wednesday, and has since been widely circulated on social media.

Local community leader, George Tasou, said that the idea behind the potato statue was similar to that of Belfast’s Big Fish monument.

It was created to celebrate the elongated seed potato, or Spunta, for which the area is known.

Mr Tasou did see the humour in the reaction which his project has stirred on social media.

He said: “There is no such thing as bad publicity.”

He added: “I wanted this potato to become a point of reference in the community, and I am glad as the defamation taking place is actually the best advert for us.

“I am sure that all those who criticise the work will come here to be photographed with the potato.”

Work on the statue is still not completed, and Mr Tasou said that the total cost will come to around €8,000, or just over £6,700.

Mr Tasou described his vision for how the statue will look once the finishing touches are put to it.

He said: “Seating facilities will be added, while there will also be a refreshment facility in the area, obliged to fry and cook potatoes for the visitors.”

He continued: “We are certain that it will become an attraction for thousands of tourists.

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“We want to post signs up along the highway leading drivers to the Big Potato, so that they’ll come visit our village.”

Users took to Twitter to share their amusement with the statue’s eye-catching design.

One account with the screen-name qwerty commented: “What a potato…

“Xylofagou in Cyprus is famous for its large potatoes. In fact one of them expected to reach – oh yes – 4m high when the… dummy is finished.”

Another, AwesomelyRight, posted: “Very clever tactics, gonna be lots of visitors to see #XylofagouPotato.

“Well done that Mayor.”

Another Twitter user, @thelaziestgeek, claimed to “fix” the statue, superimposing an image of children’s plastic toy, Mr Potato Head, onto an image of the statue.

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