Statue of man in underwear raises eyebrows on college campus

9:54 AM, Feb 6, 2014   |    comments
(Photo: Steven Senne, AP)
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( - A life-like statue of a man wearing only underwear on the Wellesley College campus has sparked a petition calling for its removal.

The statue, called "Sleepwalker," is part of an exhibit by artist Tony Matelli at the Massachusetts college's Davis Museum.

The petition says the statue is an "inappropriate and potentially harmful addition to our community." It was posted by its writer, Lauren Walsh, on Tuesday. It was addressed to Wellesley president H. Kim Bottomly. Walsh identifies herself on the post as a member of Wellesley's class of 2014.

The statue has "become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community," according to the petition, which had been signed by more than 360 people as of Wednesday afternoon.

Davis Museum director Lisa Fischman explained the exhibit in a statement on the museum's website: "As the best art does, Tony Matelli's work provokes dialogue, and discourse is at the core of education."

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