A giant blue penis has angered the residents near the apartment building where it was painted, in Stockholm, Sweden.

The work by Swedish artist Carolina Falkholt covers the side of a five-storey building and has led to numerous complaints from neighbours, immediately after it was unveiled.

The company that owns the block, Atrium Ljungberg, said it saw the work for the first time on Wednesday morning, along with the local residents.

"Culture and art are important in developing interesting urban environments," Camilla Klimt, the company's marketing manager, told Aftonbladet. "Of course, we care about artistic freedom. But at the same time, we must respect neighbours' opinions."

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The giant blue penis will remain erect for a little while but will be painted over soon, following the raft of complaints that deemed it "offensive".

This particular building is usually covered in art from a different local artist. Atrium Ljungberg has allowed a collective of local artists, Kollektivet Livet, to decorate it since 2008. Each mural usually stay in place for at least six months before a new one is commissioned - but that will not be the case with this one.

Falkholt had previously painted a similar penis (albeit in pink) on the side of an apartment in New York. The artwork at the time also caused controversy and was painted over within three days.

She said on Wednesday that she hoped her native Sweden would welcome her art a bit better.

"I think perhaps it will be allowed to remain here, people will get the message and let it take its place in the debate," she said. "I think there's more intellectual space to discuss the subject, in a nuanced way."

The giant blue penis is a mural titled "Fuck the world".