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Sweden's Controversial Snow Penis Rises Again

After a mysterious giant penis appeared in the snow in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, authorities rubbed the drawing out. Now, outraged Swedes are standing up for their freedom of artistic erection.
January 21, 2016, 7:00pm
Screenshots via Youtube

As the East Coast braces itself for Winter Storm Jonas, a city in Sweden is dealing with its own snow-related troubles. It all started on Monday, when the residents of Gothenburg woke up to 12 inches of snowfall—and the crude outline of a penis drawn into the thick layer of white powder that dusted the frozen moat in King's Park, a local public garden.

According the English language publication The Local, park staff were soon alerted to the frosty phallus after a number of people found it offensive, and the authorities decided to have it removed. But the saga of the mysterious member didn't end there. While origins of the snowy shaft are still unknown, locals rallied around the work of "art" and its right to remain erect in the snow. One brave man, Andreas, started a Facebook group called Restore the Snow Penis, "for those of us who want to restore the Gothenburg culture icon, snow penis, to its past splendor."

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"A lot of people got pissed off and wanted it back!" Andreas told Broadly over Facebook chat. In the aftermath of the snowy obelisk's removal, some members of the group suggested a petition, while others just mourned. "We will never forgive!" one person posted to the group. "RIP," wrote another.

When asked if there would be this much fervor over anything besides a dick, Andreas said, "I think a lot of people are just having a laugh and don't really care about the penis in question.

"But I would probably be willing to bet some money on the gender bias on my page being firmly in favor men," he added. "No one would be more happy than me if people started drawing vaginas everywhere instead of just dicks. Seeing poorly drawn dicks everywhere is getting old."

I am sincerely sorry to see that this many people miss the snow penis.

The Facebook group may have started as a joke, but according to Andreas, the snow penis has grown to symbolize multiple political struggles. "[The discussion in the group has] mainly been about the silliness of the city using precious resources to try to wipe away a penis drawn in snow, and people posting pictures of snow penises of their own," he said. "There have also been discussions about who is allowed to publish 'art' in the public space, and how spontaneous art by ordinary people is often censored by officials who have no problems with letting companies fill our spaces with advertisements as long as they get money for it."

Restore the Snow Penis now has over 3,000 likes, and, as of today, the champions of Gothenburg's "culture icon" can count themselves success stories. The Local reports that an even bigger penis was sketched in the snow by one of the men who took part in the removal of the original snow penis, Emilian Sava. "I want to say that I am sincerely sorry to see that this many people miss the snow penis. Our thought was to give a hand to the City Council who stand helpless, not to try to stop the freedom of art," Sava posted to Restore the Snow Penis. Feeling regret, Sava restored the "big and lovely snow penis" in a different area of the city, drawing it so large that it can only be seen from above. In an interview with the Swedish-language paper GP, he said, "At least now no one can get offended by the penis. It can't be seen from the ground, however, [but] a helicopter pilot that flies over it can get a good laugh."