Life must be slow in Bemidjii, Minnesota. Locals are up in arms over a piece of public art: Gaea, a human-sized beaver with a vagina painted on her belly. Gaea is just one of 10 beavers made by artist Deborah A. Davis, who says the pink folds and round nub are the hands of a praying woman and points out that the word “gaea” (or “gaia”) is ancient Greek for the goddess of Earth.
No matter. Residents became agog at the big beaver vag, because somebody has to remember to think of the children! So, in July, the city manager removed Gaea from public view. Supporters complained of artistic censorship, including — obvi — on a special “Bring Back Gaea!” Facebook page. After an impassioned city council vote, Gaea jubilantly returned to the street.
Alas, more trouble awaited: On Tuesday night, Bemidjii police responded to a late-night call that the beaver’s beav had been defaced by black spray paint. Luckily, the paint wiped off, but now locals are wondering: prudish vandalism or childish prank?
Does it even matter? Methinks some of these people are not ready for Michaelangelo’s “David” just yet.