A 10-foot-tall statue with a huge erect phallus that is believed to represent faith in God has become a tourist attraction.
The three-meter-tall statue was erected in the Moche district in the western Peruvian province of Trujillo for the New Year.
According to local reports, the unveiling of the statue, known as the “huaco”, surprised residents of Moche and passing motorists.
“Huaco” is the Peruvian term for earthen vessels and other pottery works of indigenous peoples of the Americas, often found in ancient burial sites and temples.
Moche District Mayor Cesar Arturo Fernandez said the statue was donated by a local visual artist who wanted to bring something cultural to the area.
He added: “A visual artist has requested permission to install it there. We have always promoted two types of huaco: huaco busts and erotic busts.
“In our culture, this does not represent eroticism but faith in God. In addition, sexuality should be seen as something normal and natural.
The opening of the statue sparked great interest, with crowds of people seen posing alongside its giant limb, as stunned motorists slowed down to get a good view as they passed.
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The Moche civilization lived in northern Peru and had its capital near present-day Moche between AD 100 and AD 700.
Along with the Nazca culture, the Moche developed a strong tradition of working with ceramics and creating figurines, as well as performing engineering feats such as building irrigation canals and dams to enable them to expand their agricultural capacities on a large scale.
In September last year, an Italian artist was “shocked and disheartened” by people finding his statue “too sexy” and “historically inaccurate”.
The statue – which paid homage to an 1857 poem written by Luigi Mercantini – caused a sensation with residents and passing visitors, as a photo of a group of men admiring the ‘loosely dressed’ woman in Salerno is went viral.