Russian monument to enemas inspired by Botticelli

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INOZEMTSEVO, Russia (Reuters Life!) - A health spa in Russia has unveiled a bronze monument of three cherubs carrying an enema, a design inspired by the 15th century Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli.

Around 100 hospital staff and patients at the spa in south Russian cheered when balloons lifted a red drape into the sky unveiling the oversized version of the pear-shaped medical instrument.

“We administer enemas nearly every day,” said Alexander Kharchenko, the head of the sanatorium which specializes in treating illnesses of the digestion tract.

“So, I thought, why not use our sense of humor and give it a monument,” he said of the bronze statue that stands about 1.5 meters high.

Local artist Svetlana Avakova, who designed the monument which cost around 1 million roubles ($42,000), said Botticelli’s classic painting Venus and Mars had given her the inspiration to tackle the tricky subject.

“At first I was worried when I was asked to do the sculpture”, Avakova said. “But I decided to take inspiration from a classic.”

Botticelli’s Venus and Mars shows three infants stealing a weapon from the God of War as the Goddess of Love watches.

“The irony is that the little infants steal the weapons of Mars. They joke with him, with the god of war, and war is a tragedy.”

“Likewise, an enema is an unpleasant procedure as many of us may know. But when cherubs do it, it’s all right.”

Reporting by Eduard Korniyenko, writing by Thomas Peter in Moscow, editing by Paul Casciato