An 18-metre-high giant condom over the heritage-listed Hyde Park Obelisk in Sydney’s CBD is meant to be a safe sex message, but it’s getting plenty of people upset.
The mock condom was installed by the Aids Council of NSW as part of a new HIV prevention campaign, but the week-long high profile promotion has plenty of conservatives seeing red.
Conservative commentator Miranda Devine called it “a big pink dildo” on twitter, concerned that it was next to the war memorial on Remembrance Day.
@chriskkenny is spot on: We don't need a big pink dildo in the middle of Sydney right next to the war memorial on Remembrance Day
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) November 8, 2014
East Sydney Liberals Branch President Michael Tiyce also took offence.
— Michael Tiyce (@MichaelTiyce) November 8, 2014
Plenty of others have joined in the protest, with the Queensland director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Wendy Francis telling News it was “disgusting” and that it would force parents to explain things they didn’t want to to small children.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill obviously new he was being provocative, saying his organisation “constantly find new ways to promote this message, especially in the lead up to World AIDS Day on December 1”.
“This installation is sure to create lots of interest as we’ve selected a very visible icon in a high traffic area. We’re hoping to turn lots of heads as well as raise a few eyebrows,” he said.
But lest people fret about the curse of a Pharaoh for desecrating an historic symbol, the Egyptian-styled obelisk is actually Sydney’s oldest working piece of public infrastructure.
The 157-year-old Hyde Park Obelisk is the first and only major sewer vent on Sydney’s first planned sewerage system. It was built to eliminate noxious gases from the sewer by releasing them above street level and mimics the famed Cleopatra’s Needle in London (although Sydney got its erected first).
The giant condom will remain on the obelisk until Wednesday, November 12.
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