Over €120,000 to be spent removing phallic sculpture during Pope’s visit

Council wants to ensure 90-ton obelisk doesn’t cause offence

The countdown has begun on the temporary removal of the ‘willy’ (o pirilau) sculpture by João Cutileiro which has stood proudly in Lisbon’s Park Eduardo VII, commemorating April 25, since 1997.

Officially christened “Cravo e Colunas (carnation and columns)”, the phallic element of the work is meant to symbolise the virile force and vigour of the revolution.

But it could all be too much for the Pope when he visits the park as part of events scheduled for World Youth Day in the first week of August, which is why the decision has been made to remove the massive sculpture, temporarily, at a total cost (removal plus relocation) of €121,218 (including IVA).

According to Correio da Manhã’s Saturday ‘Correio Indiscreto’, for this delicate operation to “run with fairness and without controversy”, the council opted for a ‘directly awarded contract’ (one that did not put out any tenders, and for which there was no competition in terms of costs).

The obelisk should be coming down any day now, and will be re-assembled “in its original place, in perfect condition” at some point after the World Youth Day jamboree has finally departed the capital.

World Youth Day is costing Lisbon council, the government and the Portuguese Catholic Church combined a small fortune: last ‘estimates’ were in the region of €160 million. Over 1.5 million visitors are expected during the event, which runs from August 1-6 – and in spite of all preparatory efforts, authorities have warned that traffic and quite a bit else in the capital, is likely to become “a chaos” in the days affected.

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Portugal Resident