A controversial statue in southern Athens branded “Satanic” by some objectors was torn down by vandals on Wednesday night.
The bright-red ‘devil’ or ‘fallen angel’ – real name Phylax, created by acclaimed Greek sculptor Kostis Georgiou – was torn down on a night which saw the Greek capital and the Attica region battered by gale-force winds.
According to Palaio Faliro Mayor Dionysis Hatzidakis, people who objected to the artwork had torn it down.
Speaking to Real FM, the mayor called it an act of vandalism:
“They came with a huge truck and two jeeps and they were wearing hoods. They threw ropes over the sculpture and pulled it down. As you can understand, the wings are broken,” he said.
“They told the man in the [nearby] canteen: ‘If you warn the police or the mayor, we will burn your canteen down.’”
“As soon as he notified me, I went straight down there, but unfortunately they had removed the license plates from the vehicles,” Hatzidakis added.
He also claimed there are signs the perpetrators belonged to the far-right Golden Dawn party.
The controversial ‘guard’ of Palaio Faliro
Ever since the sculpture was erected on Dec. 5, it has been dogged by controversy as some claimed it depicts Satan. Religious groups have protested against it and the statue has been vandalized a number of times.
People on social media snatched the opportunity to make fun of the fall of the much-debated statue which divided not only the Palaio Faliro community but the whole of Attica.
Comments abounded about “the hand of God” or “divine intervention” which demolished the “evil idol”.