Russell Blackstock is a senior reporter at the Weekend Herald and Herald on Sunday.

If Michelangelo took photos of drunks ... epic picture of New Year's drunkeness in UK inspires artistic memes

Manchester police detain one man while another lies collapsed in the road on New Year's Eve. Photo / Joel Goodman
Manchester police detain one man while another lies collapsed in the road on New Year's Eve. Photo / Joel Goodman

Only in Britain could debauched New Year celebrations be raised to classical levels.

A picture of debauched behaviour in a street in Manchester on New Year's Eve has gone viral after it was turned into a series of hilarious memes on social media.

The original photograph - posted by Roland Hughes on Twitter - looks like a tableau of drunkenness, with police grappling with a young man in the foreground while being shouted at by a woman in a fur coat.

A group of youngsters gather in the background on the chaotic Well Street, in front of a Superdry clothes shop and Greggs bakery, watching the mayhem while clutching takeaway boxes.

Meanwhile, an older man dressed in blue is splayed in the middle of the road, clutching a beer bottle in his outstretched hand while his T-shirt rides up over his belly.

After the photograph was compared to a Renaissance painting, Twitter-users got to work to create a series of spoof versions of the scene.

Hughes tweeted the picture with the caption: "So much going on this pic of New Year in Manchester by the Evening News. Like a beautiful painting."

One user was inspired to Photoshop the blue-shirted man on to Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam, which was painted in 1511. The man's outstretched arm mirrors that of God's reaching out to Adam in the masterpiece.

Others were inspired to extend the artistic comparison. One Photoshopped the same man into George Seurat's Bathers at Asnieres, with him reclining leisurely in the Parisian scene. The original was painted in 1884.

"This is our Mona Lisa," added another.

Here are some of the best memes.

- NZ Herald

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