A giant dominatrix teddy bear wearing a leather mask and brandishing hand-cuffs has been banned from sober Zurich’s street display of man-sized model bears, the project’s artistic director said on Tuesday.
While tourists pose for snaps next to a brightly-painted and benign array of models such as the “schoolteacher bear” and the “skier bear”, “Baervers” — a pun on the German for perverse — has been deemed too steamy for the financial capital’s streets.
“This bear is perverse, dominatrix and hardcore. We had to ban it because of the children,” Beat Seeberger-Quin, the project’s art director, told Reuters.
The offending bear, which sports bright red lipstick, a corset and thigh-length leather boots, stands atop a pedestal bearing the words “first class service”.
Some 600 teddies, variously decorated by artists, stud the streets of Zurich and its airport in the “Teddy-Summer” project.
The controversial model had been allocated a place near Zurich’s Paradeplatz, home to Switzerland’s top banks such as Credit Suisse and UBS, before Seeberger-Quin spotted the final design and decided to ban it.
The dominatrix bear’s creators now seek a private home for their sadomasochist teddy. At least “Baervers” will not face the same hazards as his publicly-displayed peers, some of which have been vandalized or even kidnapped.
“Two or three of the bears have been splashed with paint, and one bear — a nice small bear wearing a little dress — has been stolen,” Seeberger-Quin said.