community effort in Cyprus To honor the humble potato, the virus spread after a statue of a 5-meter-tall tuber was compared to a giant penis.
The fiberglass replica, which costs €8,000 (more than R$50,000) and is located on a main road at the entrance to the village of Xylophagou, has sparked a lot of discussion on social media.
People were visiting the building to take selfies and take pictures.
“Other countries have instantly recognizable traces, and now we have ours,” Euripides Evrifiades, a former Cyprus ambassador to the UK, wrote on Twitter.
Next to it, he posted a poster next to the image of a large potato with the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty and the Big Buddha in Hong Kong.
But the Xylophagou people take it silly, insisting that the beige statue called “Big Potato” is a faithful reproduction of their main potato crop, Spunta.
Community leader George Tasso said that those who have seen anything but a potato in the statue are dirty in thinking.
“What can I say, I think it’s a polluted mind – if anyone wanted it, they’d say it looked like this or that. I ignore what people think,” he said.
In fact, Tasso noted, the discussion on social media about the potato carving brought fame to the village.
Up close, it’s not controversial, but through the media, yes, it’s misinterpreted, said one visitor.
Visitor Fred Reynolds from Britain said: “The word has spread…a famous person said, ‘There is no negative publicity.’
Potatoes are one of the main products in Cyprus, and are famous for their fertile, red-colored soil. Next year, Xylophagou is planning another new business with his favorite product: frying 800 kilograms of potatoes at the Potato Chips Festival.
Tasou said that work on Big Potato is not complete and that it will be raised with a stone and will have a bench, garden and convenience store, increasing the total cost of the project to 15,000 euros (more than 95,000 R$).
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