Kostis Georgiou, Phylax.

Prostesters Topple Public Sculpture in Athens, Claiming it Resembles Satan

Protesters have torn down a red angel-shaped sculpture in southern Athens which they claim looked like Satan, according to Reuters. The twenty-six-foot statue, made by Greek artist Kostis Georgiou and titled Phylax (Guardian), was mounted in the coastal district of Palaio Faliro in early December and quickly drew the ire of critics, including religious fundamentalists and supporters of right-wing political groups. “If they want to demolish, let them do it,” Georgiou told Greek Reporter earlier this month, when demonstrators led by Patapios Argyros, a local priest, attempted to exorcise the sculpture. “If they want to burn it, let them burn it as they were burning books in the past,” the artist added.

On Wednesday, a group of hooded people dressed in black tied the sculpture to a truck and pulled it down, breaking its wings. Dionysis Hatzidakis, the mayor of Palaio Faliro, filed a lawsuit. “So, if we don’t like something we destroy it . . . for political purposes?” he asked while on Real FM. Argyros had penned an open letter to Faliro in early January declaring the artwork “an affront to Orthodoxy and the Christian faith.”

“All this violence against the sculpture since the first moment it was installed has left me speechless,” Georgiou told Reuters. “It should remain down on the ground as a memorial of the irrational rationale.”