Nipples or no nipples, mermaid not wanted

/ Source: The Associated Press

The big-busted, bronze mermaid statute "The Siren" is not welcome here anymore.

The life-size sea temptress, the marquee exhibit at the Wellington Community Center's inaugural Art in Public Places program, drew media attention last summer because of her top-heavy bust line. The sculpture appeared on CNN and had a mention in Playboy.

"Unfortunately, they didn't want her back," artist Norman J. Gitzen told the Palm Beach Post. "They were tired of the bad publicity."

Gitzen added nipples to the statue last month while it was on loan to the Palm Beach International Sculpture Biennale at Wellington Green. The city warned Gitzen to remove them before returning the mermaid.

But then he received a call from Paul Schofield, Wellington's community services director, telling him "The Siren" was no longer needed.

"It didn't matter what decision I made. There was going to be some controversy one way or another," said Schofield, whose department oversees Art in Public Places. "Did publicity play into it? No."