Perps Perf Sex Sculpture

Paris -- Paul McCarthy's giant inflatable 'sex toy' sculpture was reduced to a flaccid lump of plastic on one of Paris's swankiest squares on Saturday after vandals attacked the work.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network were introduced to the piece on Saturday, as part of our visit to the FIAC fair.

The sculpture entitled 'Tree' was on display at the Place Vendôme.

It was a massive, green, inflatable sculpture on the famous Paris square and had raised a storm for its resemblance to a sex toy, with the artist even being attacked in the street; after being slapped by an irate Parisian.

The 24 meter-high artwork by American artist was unveiled on Thursday on the Vendome Square alongside the Ritz Hotel and luxury jewelry stores, provoking a storm of humor and outrage on social media over its resemblance to a sex toy.

One man actually attacked the artist. The stranger apparently slapped the artist three times, then shouted that he was not French and that his work had "no business being on the square", the paper writes.

McCarthy was unhurt but left shocked and disturbed by the attack, the artist asked: "Does this kind of thing happen often in France?"

The 69-year-old contemporary artist is known for his controversial and ambiguous works.

Even McCarthy - known for his desire to shock the viewer - was surprised at the reception he got in Paris, better known for a more relaxed attitude toward sexual matters.

On Saturday, vandals cut the cables which kept the offending artwork in place, leaving it slumped on the pavement. Then it had to be deflated.

A police source told AFP. "Individuals waited until the security guard's attention was elsewhere and cut the cable the kept the sculpture in place," the source stated on condition of anonymity.

"The inflated work slumped down," the source said, adding that police were investigating the incident. An official from the FIAC contemporary art fair which staged the controversial exhibit stated that the offenders had in fact first unplugged the pump that kept the structure erect.

The FIAC coordinators said they intended to resurrect McCarthy's 'Tree' as soon as technically possible.

Today's homepage Featured Art Video offers the latest update of the Vendôme vandalism. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjJoDhcgJxY&sns=em