As evidenced by Melania Trump and Cristiano Ronaldo, European-statue drama is without question in the top five categories of drama (rivaled only by birthday drama and bean drama). Even more exciting is “unnecessarily-sexy-European-statue drama,” a small but rapidly expanding category.
Somewhere in southern Italy (Sapri, to be exact), a bronze ode to an early socialist uprising was unveiled this week. The sculpture, which is of a 19th-century female fieldworker, possesses some very particular, ah, assets. In other words, she is extremely hot — and she is also stylish, sporting a perfect summery off-the-shoulder dress. It is very sheer and very clingy, as the gaggle of men beholding her seem to have noticed, providing a … convenient view.
Go ahead, feast your eyes on this sexy agrarian laborer:
Who is she? Let me tell you. She is a spigolatrice (English translation: “gleaner”), which apparently is a term for someone who gathers grains left in a field after harvest. She is also the narrator of a poem called “La Spigolatrice di Sapri,” which details a 300-man attempt to overthrow the king of Naples in 1857, led by an Italian socialist named Carlo Pisacane. The 300 men all died, as observed from afar by our beautiful spigolatrice, who in the poem watches the invasion’s ship land at the shores of Sapri before they head to their untimely deaths.
Alas, some female politicians in Italy are not so pleased with this tableau. One called it an “offense to women,” and the Italian Democratic Party’s Palermo constituency called for it to be “knocked down,” writing in a statement that the statue is “a sexualised body, devoid of soul and without any connection with the social and political issues of the story.” To which I say: Leave this sultry statue be! Let the Italians have their sexy socialist statue.
The artist responsible for this controversy, Emanuele Stifano, provided what I suppose is an explanation on Facebook. Apparently, he had originally wanted the statue to be “completely naked” because he is, naturally, “a lover of the human body.” According to The Guardian’s translation, he had no desire to explain his work to his critics because they “absolutely only want to see depravity.”
In any case, Stifano cannot uncreate his beautiful laborer, nor should he. Let her live!