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Last Updated: Friday, 25 July, 2003, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Salzburg statue not fit for a prince
By Mike Leidig

The Arc de Tromphe statue
Majestic arch: Artists hope Prince Charles will see the statue
A giant statue of a naked man with a two-foot erection caused a row in Salzburg after being exposed on the eve of a visit by Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne.

Salzburg mayor Heinz Schaden said he was horrified when he realised at the official unveiling on Friday what the sculptors had been installing.

He said it would be impossible for Prince Charles to avoid seeing the figure when he arrived in the city of Mozart's birth for a weekend visit, and wanted it taken down immediately.

I can't stress strongly enough how totally tasteless this is
Salzburg mayor Heinz Schaden
The mayor said: "No-one asked me or my office for permission to put this up, and if they had, we would have said No.

"I can't stress strongly enough how totally tasteless this is, and have demanded immediately that those responsible take it down."

Viagra tribute

Called "Arc de Triomphe", the statue by artists Ali Janka, Wolfgang Gantner, Tobias Urban and Florian Reither shows a naked man bending over backwards with his hands on the ground and an erect penis thrusting into the sky.

We didn't do it to shock the prince
Artist Ali Janka
The artwork was described as a tribute to Viagra and was unveiled in front of the Rupertinum Modern Art Gallery, 24 hours before Charles flew into the European cultural capital on a visit to the Salzburg Festival.

Artist Ali Janka said: "We didn't do it to shock the prince and we hope he will get to see it. We think it's beautiful and has a distinctly royal theme about it, with the majestic arch of the man bending over.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles: Not a big fan of modern art
"It was a double honour for us to know that Charles would be going past and would see all our hard work."

The festival, staged each year in the city of Mozart's birth, is more famous for its operas, dramas and concerts rather than for shock art.

Charles, who made the trip with his companion Camilla Parker Bowles, flew into Salzburg late on Saturday afternoon by private jet and is expected to stay at least until Sunday.

Gala dinner

He was due to attend the official reception for the annual festival shortly after his arrival in the city, where he will be joined by Austrian President Thomas Klestil and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg.

Afterwards he was due to be in the audience for a performance of Hector Berlioz's Requiem in the large festival hall.

Prince Charles, who was invited by one of the festival's main sponsors, 77-year-old New York publisher Donald Kahn, was also expected to attend a gala dinner on Saturday evening as one of 200 guests, before staying overnight in a hotel outside the city.

On Sunday he will appear at a cocktail reception held at the Felsen Riding School in the early evening before attending the opening night of the opera 'Entfuehrung aus dem Serail' (Abduction from the Seraglio) by Mozart.

The Salzburg festival starts on Saturday and ends traditionally on 31 August.

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