A large tulip sculpture gifted to Paris to remember the victims of the 2015 attacks has been mocked for looking “pornographic” and like “marshmallows”.
The Bouquet of Tulips sculpture was created by US artist Jeff Koons to remember the 130 people killed during a bomb attack and a mass shooting at the Bataclan concert hall.
It was unveiled on Friday and is presented in Koons’ recognisably garish style – the 40-foot high artwork depicts a giant hand squeezing a bouquet of eleven colourful tulips.
But it has failed to strike the intended note and has faced backlash after it was unveiled near the Champs Elysées.
He also said it was “in fact a pornographic sculpture”.
Twitter user Rosa Rosam, meanwhile, described the tulips as “giant coloured marshmallows.”
For his part, Koons says that the statue is designed to be a show of solidarity with Paris.
He said: “I did, as a citizen in New York, experience 9/11 and the depression that hung over the city. It really took years for the city to be able to come to life again.”
Koons confirmed that 80 per cent of the proceeds from selling the copyright of the artwork will go to the victims’ families. The remaining 20 per cent will be reserved for its maintenance.
On the night of the attack, some 89 people were shot dead at an Eagles of Death Metal gig at the Bataclan.
The band’s frontman Jesse Hughes later described how the shocking experience gave him renewed purpose in life.
“For me, my behaviour since [the Bataclan’ has been informed by the concept that I don’t want to be haunted by 89 people; I want to be accompanied by 89 souls,” he said in 2017.
“Normally something like what happened in Paris would make you a little more shy of the world at large, but it’s had the opposite effect. I want to live every day doing something. I want to hone my craft. I love what I do. This is the greatest job I’ve ever had in my life.