Parisian Christmas Tree/Sex Toy Vandalized by Mystery Elves

paris christmas tree

Quick quiz: What in the Yuletide halls is this?!

No, it’s not a unique pawn in a really large game of chess or an oddly colored wine-bottle stopper for the world’s largest jug of fermented juice.

From The Atlantic’s CityLab, we learn this piece of contemporary something or other is a sculpture by the American artist Paul McCarthy called “Tree.” It’s supposed to serve as the centerpiece of the International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC).

It also looks like a certain sex toy…and now it’s flat as a pancake. Bad PR for the global art community.

Maybe McCarthy is some sort of a holiday trickster and 50 Shades of Gray aficionado inspired by the wild nights of Mr. and Mrs. Claus’ nights. Who knows. Some idlers weren’t impressed by the art, and now it’s gone:

Cables supporting the 24-metre green piece by US artist Paul McCarthy – which he said was inspired by a Christmas tree and a butt plug – were cut on Saturday, leaving the artwork slumped on the pavement in the Place Vendôme and forcing a security guard to deflate it, police said.

“An unidentified group of people cut the cables which were holding the artwork, which caused it to collapse,” police told Reuters. “The person responsible for the piece then decided to deflate it to avoid it being more seriously damaged.”

Authorities assume this was an act of protest. The inflatable tool immediately drew outcry from some residents, who said Paris had been “humiliated” by the installation. Others dismissed it as a “provocation” and called for its removal.

It will be re-inflated, much to the chagrin of local Parisians. It will also remain a huge pain in the ass for the event’s organizers.