Of the incident, Arcachon, France’s Mayor Yves Foulon told Sud Ouest newspaper: "I wouldn't want anyone—not even my worst enemies—to go through what happens to this statue.”
What happens to the statue, a 10-foot-tall effigy of Hercules, is regular vandalism targeted where it hurts the Greek God known for his self-confidence and virility the most: his penis.
As Mashable reports, the sculpture in Parc Mauresque was designed by Claude Bouscau in the ‘40s, and even then, the phallus was a point of contention. Bouscau reduced the size of the organ following criticism over its length, and since then, it’s been desecrated so often that officials have decided to outfit Hercules with a removable penis. The piece will only adorn the figure during special occasions and ceremonies and the sculpture will be free of its manhood the rest of the time.
It’s an unorthodox, but perhaps ingenious, way to combat vandals who have left poor Hercules with nothing more than a thin metal rod between his legs. Plus, it makes life easier for law enforcement. Deputy Mayor Martine Phellipot told Sud Ouest: “This is the best solution. Otherwise you just end up constantly chasing after the anatomy of Hercules.”