Gender bender? Mermaid sculpture losing its curves

November 26th, 2010 - 6:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, Nov 27 (IANS) A mermaid sculpture on a Kerala campus is losing its curves to accusations of vulgarity - and that too levelled by a women’s group. Never mind if it has been around for over two decades.

The shrub sculpture has already had its ‘breasts’ removed following complaints from a women’s organization at Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT). And there are rumours that it might even undergo a complete gender change.

Godfrey Louis, pro vice chancellor of CUSAT, dismissed media reports that there would be a gender transformation for the shrub sculpture.

“The media appears to have made this a big issue. A women’s organisation complained about its shape. The registrar acted according to an apex court order that there should be no obscene things on campuses,” Louis told IANS.

The old debate between art and obscenity has come to haunt again - and this time the victim is the one-meter tall mermaid shrub sculpture, which has been around at the CUSAT campus with all its womanly attributes for a long time.

The first round of gender transformation took place two days back when the ‘breasts’ of the mermaid were trimmed out.

A senate member of CUSAT did not appear to be pleased with the development.

“Was it not that a piece of art which was crafted by a person with artistic talent? At times certain things are not seen in proper perspective. I do not have much to say on this because at times things go overboard,” said the senate member on condition of anonymity.

Education Minister M.A. Baby told IANS on the basis of media reports he has asked CUSAT for a report.

“Let the report come and then we will have a discussion on this to form an opinion,” said Baby.

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