Unusual Events

Published on October 25th, 2012 | by Chris Wotton


5 of the world’s oddest statues and sculptures

Thought statues were boring? You were wrong! Here are some of the oddest statues and sculptures the world over.

The cat statues of Kuching

The Malaysian city of Kuching, nicknamed Cat City since Kuching is the Malay word for cat, plays host to a whole set of feline-inspired statues. The city has an annual festival to celebrate its existence as the City of Cats, and the statues in honour of man’s furry friends adorn the city’s streets. In fact, the city even boasts a cat museum!

The Kuching cat statues - photo by thienzieyung

The Kuching cat statues – photo by thienzieyung

The upside-down statue in Victoria, Australia

Charles Joseph La Trobe has possibly one of the most bizarre legacies. In the Australian then colony and now state of Victoria, where he was the first lieutenant governor between 1851 and 1854, he is commemorated by an otherwise impressive statue, with his figurine and name atop a kind of plinth – impressive save for the fact that it is, quite literally, upside down!

The upside-down statue - photo by Ben Sutherland

The upside-down statue – photo by Ben Sutherland

According to the statue’s curator at La Trobe University in Australia, there are two main reasons behind the odd orientation of the statue. The first is to throw everything, again quite literally, on its head, and ask whether putting a stone figure of someone on a plinth is the right or only way to be remembering them. By inverting that assumption, the Queensland based artist, Charles Rob, who designed the sculpture, is apparently undermining the role of that sort of sculptural presentation of past figures. And the other reason – even more bizarrely, perhaps – is that La Trobe is said to be more well known in the UK than in Australia (never heard of him!), so on that basis the sculpture is actually ‘the right way up’ if you’re looking at it ‘from the UK’. Okaaaaay.

The hanging rhino in Potsdam

The sad rhinoceros that hangs over passers by in Luisenplatz Square in Potsdam, Germany, is arguably weirder still. There seems to be little explanation for why this rhino is hanging from the sky – but it is.

The hanging rhino statue - photo by singingbeagle

The alien tripod in Woking, UK

Of all the places for a The War of the Worlds inspired Martian fighting machine sculpture as depicted by Michael Condron, the middle of a high street in Woking, south-east England, seems an odd choice.

The alien tripod statue - photo by Phil Lees

The giant spider in Biblao

The Guggenheim Museum in the Spanish city of Bilbao has a novel way of getting you through its doors – or not. Just outside towers a thirty foot tall sculpture of a giant spider! Known as Maman, it is sadly not the only incarnation of this mammoth anthropod on earth; there are also replicas as far apart as at the Tate Modern in London, at the United States’ Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, at the National Gallery of Canada, at Russia’s State Hermitage Museum, at the Mori Art Museum in Japan and at the Samsung Museum of Modern Art in South Korea. With all those long, hairy legs if you are not a spider lover, you’ll be wanting to steer clear!

The giant spider statue - photo by Metro Centric


About the Author

Chris Wotton

A twenty-something crazy about travel, Chris Wotton is a writer with a specialism in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Chris is happiest off the tourist trail, submerged in local culture - and eating local food!

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