Among the many traditional monuments and statues you can find in almost any town or city in the world, there are those whose sculptors appear to have departed completely from convention.
We picked out a few of the most interesting, surprising and downright strange ones we could find.
The Mustangs of Las Colinas, Texas, USA
This is one of the largest groups of sculptured horses in the world. These bronze statues are 1 and a half times bigger than real horses, although in photographs it often seems that they are smaller. They have special fountains built into their feet which shoot out water in such a way as to create the impression that they’re galloping through a river.
Monument to a woman’s handbag, Italy
This somewhat odd, but vaguely amusing sculpture was first presented in Italy at an exhibition titled ’Thoughts. Space. A dialogue between nature and imagination.’
Memorial to a computer technician, Krasnoyarsk, Russia
A memorial to a computer technician in the form of a work station: a chair, table, computer, desk light and even a jacket have been sculpted to beautiful effect. Only the technician himself is missing!
Knotted gun sculpture, New York, USA
This sculpture was created by Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd at the end of 1980, in memory of John Lennon who was shot in the same year.
The Travellers, Marseilles, France
This is a whole series of sculptures which have been not only placed around the streets of Marseilles but have also made appearances at numerous modern art exhibitions.
Monument to the Unknown Bureaucrat, Reykjavik, Iceland
The ’Unknown Bureaucrat’ was created in 1994 by Iceland artist and sculptor Magnus Tomasson. It’s probably the most noticeable, and certainly the most amusing and expressive sculpture in the city, which is notablef or the many little intriguing details that can be picked out.
Headington Shark, Oxford, Britain
The significance behind this sculpture is much greater than may appear at first sight. It was erected on the 41st anniversary of the nuclear attack on Nagasaki at the end of World War II. The sculpture depicts a beautiful, if potentially deadly lethal weapon falling from hte sky.
De Vaartkapoen, Brussels, Belgium
This statue was erected in 1985 in the Molenbeek area of Brussels. The scene it depicts is reminiscent of a comedy sketch: a man unexpectedly emerges from a manhole and pulls the feet from underneath a policeman. It’s author is Belgian sculptor Tom Frantzen.
Memorial to Nelson Mandela, South Africa
Nelson Mandela’s profile is formed from 50 steel columns, representing the 50 years since his arrest and political persecution. His likeness can be seen only if you stand at a certain angle to the columns; otherwise, they seem to be just a clump of poles.
Force of Nature
This is the title of a series of sculptures created by Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn, in which women are depicted holding the Earth in a length of cloth. The statues have been placed in many cities around the world, including in the UK, USA, Monaco and Singapore.
The Wedding Rings, Vancouver, Canada
One of the most unusual attractions in Vancouver. The rings are made from steel, aluminium and glass. They stick out of the ground at an angle, as though they’re about to fall over. However, in reality they are both firmly stuck in the ground, a symbol of the strength of love.
People by the River, Singapore
Chong Fah Cheong, the creator of these statues, is well-known for making a large number of statues which depict people who live and work along the banks of the rivers in Singapore.
Statue of Franz Kafka, Prague, Czech Republic
The idea behind Jaroslav Róna’s statue is far from clear. One theory holds that it is a reference to the Kafka’s ’Description Of A Struggle’, whose main character became envious of a fellow traveller and clambered up onto his shoulders in order to see the world through different eyes. Having stepped inside another’s skin, his envy towards the unknown person disappeared, as he found out that everyone has their own burdens.
Bureaucratic Themis, Denmark
This sculpture by Danish artist Jens Galschiot depicts the goddess of justice as an overweight woman, who sits on the shoulders of a thin, emaciated man. The two figures represent the industrial world and Africa, respectively.
Monument to Sigmund Freud, Prague, Czech Republic
According to one popular theory, with this statue Czech sculptor David Černý wanted to show the distance of the intelligentsia from the ordinary people. This is such a wonderful sculpture that anyone going to Prague simply has to take the time to go and see it.