Police in the south Germany are searching for a distinctive piece of stolen artwork known as the 'Holzpenis.' A phallic wooden statue, it was found erected on the mountain of Grünten in the German Allgäu a couple of years ago, and has disappeared under similarly mysterious circumstances.
Local newspaper Allgäuer Zeitung reported that the two-meter tall sculpture was taken by an unknown actor. All that was left was a sorry stump and some sawdust on the 1738 metre mountain, and little to pin any perpetrator to the scene.
On Monday, local police declared the phallic statue as missing. However they were unsure as to what criminal charges they might be able to press, should the thief be arrested.
"We don't know if the act carries any offence or not," a police spokesperson said. However the local police said they were probing the matter for any development's.
Although hardly a thing of beauty the Holzpenis was not without admirers.
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The Holzpenis had become something of a landmark among hikers and mountaineers, who had covered the phallus with graffitos. The sculpture had been logged by Google Maps as a "cultural monument" and local brewery Benardi Brau had even named a draft after the phallic icon: "Grünten-Zipferl", local dialect for the "tip of mount Grünten".
Whether it was a crime or not, local sentiment was that they have been robbed of a characterful landmark and the plan to erect a new wooden phallus on the mountain has already been presented.
Utah's missing Monolith
The week's other totemic news related to a mystery sculpture, discovered in a US desert by Utah state workers.
The three-metre-tall sculpture became a sensation after tourists tracked down the monument using Google Earth imagery to a location in the Red Rock desert. However almost as soon as it was discovered, the 'Monolith' was reported missing.
The sculpture was removed from the remote location by "an unknown party" on Friday evening, said Bureau of Land Management Utah in a statement.
The department initially raised concerns of sightseers getting lost while trying to track down the sculpture in the desert.
- With additional AP reporting