This statue is the inspiration for my stories Being and Be2ng, which contain some mild sexual references.
It depicts a youth or faun playing a crude flute that he has improvised from a tree branch. The black and white pictures have been cleaned up from faded antique sepia photos on the net, and depict the original marble and bronze versions. As you can see from the other images, when the statue was reproduced in miniature it suffered the same kind of pointless censorship that many 19th-century statuettes were subjected to, proving that even the French could sometimes be prudish - at least about front views!
Full size version, Bandol, France
Between 21 April 1953 and 8 October 2020, a lifesize bronze copy of the statue in its original nude state stood on the promenade at Bandol in southern France, between the marketplace and the seafront, close to the Hotel de Ville and what is now the Bar-Restaurant l’Amiral.
It was set on a low-rise pedestal, allowing passers-by to see it almost face to face. Over the course of almost seven decades it acquired some pretty nasty discolouration and was in serious need of cleaning; on the other hand, its penis looked as if it had been polished, possibly by people touching it for luck... or whatever. This led one wag to label his photo “Golden Dick”. How very droll.
I’ve scoured just about every public photo gallery on the internet in search of images and these are the best ones I could find.
Restoration and Reinstallation
On 8 October 2020 the statue was removed for much-needed cleaning and restoration, and when it returned on 4 February 2021 it was installed inside the Médiathèque de Bandol, where it will no longer be subject to the ravages of the elements.
As you can see, the restoration was superb, endowing his body with a rich new patina.
Alas, however, it’s evident that we may no longer refer to him as “Golden Dick”...!
Fans who were missing the statue in its outdoor location were eventually rewarded for their patience, because a mould had been taken from the original during its restoration taken and a replica produced...
...and here it is, during and after installation in June 2021.
Well, that’s about it for now, so... au revoir!
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