Elderly couple forced to cover up their 'offensive' replica of Michelangelo's David outside sheltered accommodation complex
Council warden orders couple to move replica of 16th century statue
Daily Mail Reporter
24th June 2011
It's been around for 500 years but now the manhood on Michelangelo's David has upset the sensitivities of Leicestershire council.
When a couple put up a replica of the nude statue outside their home a killjoy council told them to move it - because it was causing offence.
Although thousands see the 16th century artwork in Florence, Italy, every year, officials in Stamford swooped within days when Clive and Joan Burgess put their replica up.
The couple, who live in a warden-controlled sheltered accommodation complex, were told their neighbours had complained.
Now they have hidden the statue, behind a shrub and a patio set in the garden of neighbour Sue Cullen.
They said they are shocked the statue has created such a stir.
Mrs Burgess, 64, said: 'The warden asked us to move him as people didn't want to look at him. They think it is not tasteful.
'It was offending folk but I can't see the reason behind it. I heard someone was going to buy a pair of pants and put them on him.'
Mr Burgess, 71, added: 'It is a timeless piece of art.'
Although the artwork has been on display in Florence since it was unveiled in 1504, the couple said they had no choice but to move it.
But the replica of the masterpiece is not the only statue owned by the couple that caused a fuss with neighbours.
Mr and Mrs Burgess have also moved a small water feature of another classical piece, a replica of the Manneken Pis statue, of a toddler urinating, which was also outside their front door. It now stands in their kitchen.
The couple, who moved into their ground floor flat in May, brought David and the Manneken Pis with them from their from home.
Mr and Mrs Burgess, who used to run a pub, bought the £100 statue from a garden centre five years ago.
Neighbour Sue said: 'There has been such a hoo-ha over this. It is a statue, it's fabulous.
'You are not telling me that children don't see worse than that on television.'
But another neighbour who did not want to be named, said: 'Who wants to look at a man's private parts every time they go out the house. I'm sure if I erected a statue of a naked woman they would have something to say about it.'
A spokesman for South Kesteven District Council, said: 'We didn't deem it to be offensive however we did explain that several residents had expressed that they were upset by it.
'Our understanding is that we didn't instruct for the statue to be moved we simply passed on the concerns raised with us and the owners agreed to move it’.