Russia’s fourth-largest city of Yekaterinburg has been plagued by snow sculptures of erect penises over the past week, prompting calls among some residents for authorities to crack down on the practice.
Local media first spotted a giant snow penis in a public square outside the Yekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theater and the Ural State University on Monday.
Svet, a news channel on the messaging app Telegram, claimed that the elaborate sculpture was the work of local students.
Municipal workers were filmed later that evening removing the sculpture with an excavator.
Yekaterinburg Mayor Alexei Orlov condemned the appearance of the snow penises as an “outrage.”
Similarly, his deputy Alexei Bubnov said the phallic sculptures were a “provocation” and could be classified as an administrative offense “if they offend anyone,” adding that law enforcement could get involved if they continued to appear throughout the city.
A petition appeared on Change.org calling on Yekaterinburg students to stop sculpting the snow penises, and as of Friday afternoon, it was signed by at least 17 people.
“Yekaterinburg is a modern and creative city, but why do people allow themselves to dishonor its name and disfigure it with pseudo-creativity?” the petition reads.
But the Yekaterinburg Mayor’s Office denied that it had any plans for a citywide crackdown on the snow sculptures despite Bubnov's threat to involve get law enforcement involved.
“Utility services clean roads, sidewalks and public areas like parks and squares,” a spokesperson told the local news website It’s My City.
“There’s no specific duty to search and ‘fight’ snow sculptures.”