An awful effigy of Lucille Ball constructed in her hometown has made its residents furious.
You can almost hear Ricky's lilting voice admonishing the entire population of Celoron, New York, "You got some 'splaining to do!" In 2009, the small town on Chautauqua Lake in the Empire state installed a statue of the beloved comedy legend, which some say resembles Steve Buscemi in drag.
The Lucille Ball statue stands at the heart of downtown Celoron, and despite its horrifying visage (or rather, because of it), it has become something of a tourist draw. People will stop by specifically to take pictures with the grimacing effigy. As unfitting a tribute as it may be, the Lucy statue has certainly sparked some hilarious conversations. In an article for the Buffalo News, art critic Colin Dabkowski stated that the likeness "...looks more like an extra from 'The Walking Dead' than arguably the most famous comic actress of all time."
Enraged citizens of Celoron and nearby Jamestown (the birthplace of Lucille Ball) have created a Facebook page protesting the Lucille Ball statue and calling for its removal or repair.
The sculptor who created the hotly debated piece has quoted the city between $8,000 to $10,000 to alter it. Since Celeron townsfolk originally donated the funds for the statue, the city government is unlikely to be willing to spend taxpayer dollars to fix it.
One thing is for certain, Lucy was all about laughs, and this nightmarish statue is keeping that legacy alive, though maybe not in the same way we'd have all hoped for.
UPDATE: The sculptor has announced that he will replace the Lucy statue at his own expense. In a letter to the Hollywood Reporter, artist Dave Poulin has expressed his regrets at casting the "scary Lucy" statue in bronze, and has offered to recast it for free for the city of Celeron. He clarified that the work was originally commissioned by Mark and Jetta Wilson, and was subsequently donated to the city.
"I take full responsibility for 'Scary Lucy' though by no means was that my intent or did I wish to disparage in any way the memories of the iconic Lucy image." Poulin lamented in his letter. He went on to say, "From the day of its installation, I have shared my disappointment in the final outcome and have always believed it to be by far my most unsettling sculpture, not befitting of Lucy's beauty or my ability as a sculptor"
Poulin has apparently been barraged with calls, letters and emails concerning the statue since it went viral, and is intent to right the wrong. Hopefully the new Lucy will look more like Lucille Ball, and less like a hellish, tormented soul.
h/t Country Living