Peru’s ceramic Mochica man attacked by vandals Peru’s ceramic Mochica man attacked by vandals

The 10ft fertility symbol, located near to the Peruvian town of Trujillo, was proving a hit with tourists before it was severely damaged by vandals
13 January 2022

A statue of a smiling indigenous man with a large phallus has recently been attacked by a group of vandals in Peru.

The 10ft structure was put on display at the beginning of 2022 in one of Peru’s top archaeological regions near the town of Trujillo, and represents the pre-Columbian Mochica culture which existed from 150 to 700 AD.

Since its erection, the crimson fertility symbol, named Huaco Erotico, has attracted thousands of tourists and passing travellers to the region, with many people posing underneath the statue for a picture. It’s located on a route between the grand pyramid-esque Temples of the Sun and Moon, collectively known as the Temples of Moche.

However, the ceramic man has recently been a victim to vandalism, with three armed criminals smashing a hole in the statue.

The mayor of Moche, Arturo Fernandez Bazan, said to local news: “At two in the morning, three hooded criminals held a knife to the security guard’s neck to keep him from reacting or calling his colleagues on the radio, and two of them damaged the phallus.”

The ancient culture is well-known for its erotic pottery, and Mr Fernandez Bazan plans to position at least 30 more Mochica statues along the region’s archaeological trail.

“In our Mochica culture, these types of ceramics vessels were not considered erotic but represented the Godhead,” the mayor said.

“The [Ancient] Greeks had another type of representation. We have been more aggressive and more direct with our feelings.”

Officials have stated they hope the recent criminal act will reduce any further controversary, as the population gain a greater understanding and respect for the statue and its cultural significance. 

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