Weird news: Naked pregnant woman statue met with controversy

Damien Hirst's statue is meant to symbolize truth and justice. Not everyone sees it that way

By Prachi Gupta

Published October 8, 2012 9:56PM (EDT)

    (© Guy Harrop)
(© Guy Harrop)

Verity, a 65-foot bronze statue by artist Damien Hirst, has arrived in Ilfracombe, an English seaside town, where it may remain for the next 20 years.  The statue, a 25-ton naked, pregnant woman -- half skeleton and half flesh -- who holds a sword and stands atop a pile of law books, is a "modern allegory of truth and justice." Townspeople, however, do not see her as that at all. The Daily Mail reports that some locals consider the statue to be an encouragement of teenage pregnancy. Others call it "immoral":

Julie Hunt, a local councillor, also said: 'I think it is immoral, disrespectful and tasteless. Would this be allowed if it was a naked man baring his packed lunch for all to see?'

Another council member called it "outrageous, immoral, bizarre, offensive, distasteful, embarrassing, grotesque, disrespectful, insensitive, inappropriate, a monstrosity, tasteless, ugly, vulgar and not in good taste."

These complaints might seem a bit odd, considering the bare human form has long been an inspiration for art -- and that pregnancy is general a phenomenon to be celebrated -- but then again, you're not the one who has to stare at a tall, naked, half-skeletal pregnant lady all day.

h/t Daily Mail


Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at

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Damien Hirst England Statue Teenage Pregnancy Verity