A potato effigy being erected in the village of Xylofagou in Famagusta has made the rounds on social media with its fair share of unflattering comments about the phallic-looking symbol.
Residents, however, do not seem dissatisfied with the unfinished monument’s notoriety, as the local community leader argues that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
Most critics say the four-metre tall object looks nothing like a potato but a giant sex toy or worse.
The potato sculpture is built to pay homage to the main product of the ‘red soil’ villages in the area, ahead of the ‘Potato Festival’ to be held in the coming weeks.
In comments to the website Philenews, community leader of Xylophagou George (Kokos) Tasou, who claims ownership of the project, said the local council is pleased the monument is causing a stir.
“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 advertisement for us.
“I am sure that all those who criticize the work will come here to be photographed with the potato,” said Tasou.
He said the idea of creating a homage to Xylofagou’s most famous product, its potatoes, came after seeing the Big Fish monument in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Asked about the potato’s unusually long shape, Tasou said it is built in the image of the elongated Spunta (seed potato), which is common in the area and not the regular potato.
The community leader said the project will cost €8,000 and is not yet finished.
“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”.
Tasou said the Deputy Ministry of Tourism welcomed the project, “and we are certain that it will become an attraction for thousands of tourists”.
The spud landmark is next to the Olympos Xylophagou stadium and is called “The Big Potato”.