Adolf Marciano, headteacher of the Luigi Rosso art school, has stated that the statue was a "tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy".
A curvy statue of a mermaid has caused a stir in the southern Italian town of Monopoli for being "too provocative". According to The Guardian, the artwork sits in a new square in the Puglia town called Piazza Rita Levi-Montalcini - named after a Nobel prize-winning Italian scientist. It was created by students from the Luigi Rosso art school in Monopoli and is located near a children's playground.
The artwork has become a target of ridicule after photos taken during its installation were shared on social media. Taking to Facebook
, Bari-based actor Tiziana Schiavarelli said that a friend in Monopoli had "rightly expressed some perplexity about this 'monument'. It looks like a mermaid with two silicone breasts and, above all, a huge arse never seen before on a mermaid. At least not any I know".
Ms Schiavarelli further stressed that she did not have an issue with the art students or the local council, which had commissioned the work. "But I am very amused by this thing ...who knows if it will become a further attraction for tourists," she added.
Meanwhile, Adolf Marciano, headteacher of the Luigi Rosso art school, stated that the statue was a "tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy". As per Sky News, Mr Marciano also said that the council was shown the scale model, following which it was decided that the completed sculpture would be placed in the square.
He added that he did not want to cast judgement on the students' inspiration, but that he viewed the work "as a representation of reality, in this case of the female body".
"You see adverts on television with models who are very thin, but the mermaid is like a tribute to the great majority of women who are curvy, especially in our country. It would have been very bad if we had represented a woman who was extremely skinny," Mr Marciano said.
Notably, the statue is yet to be officially unveiled.