I’m no art critic neither will I pretend to be one. I actually like the monument in Luqa that has become popular as well as notorious for the simple reason that it can resemble a dick. I don’t like it for that particular reason. My untrained eye sees a blend of my favourite colours as well as the curves. It’s the same reason why I like the design of most Mosques.

However, none of this is actually relevant. The reason why I don’t want that monument removed has nothing to do with its beauty or ugliness. At the risk of sounding arrogant and proud, the reason why I want that monument to stay there is dignity, my own dignity.

I’m agnostic and do not recognise the Pope as my leader by any means. He is just another human being who decided to visit our islands. Of course he is the leader of the Catholic church, and the majority of the Maltese are Catholic. But that makes absolutely no difference. I may be in a minority but that doesn’t make me a lesser human. The pope, my next door neighbor and myself are equal. No one deserves any preferential treatment.

Why should we remove something because it resembles a dick since it might offend the pope (though I seriously doubt whether he looks in a different direction when he pees, worse still if he gets an erection at the same time). If some people and the major of Luqa didn’t like the monument, they had ample time to remove it. Why now? All of this at the expense of making us look ridiculous in the eyes of the whole world.

A few months ago, an atheist woman in Italy won a case against the government because she stated crucifixes offend her and scare her son. This had repercussions in Malta even sending a couple of fanatics in hysteria. The woman who filed the case did have a point, however I still disagree with the decision of granting her money in compensation for having her son exposed to crucifixes in school. We can’t remove everything that might offend someone. What offended me about the whole story was the reaction by some Catholics, both in Italy and Malta. With what arrogance do they tell me and other people of a different belief or no belief to leave our country if we don’t like crucifixes?

In practice whether to remove the offending monument or crucifixes or not makes absolutely no difference to me. They can even replace the monument with a large crucifix. However, symbolically this has a meaning. Yes, to have people who believes this country belongs to them bullying myself and others around as if we got the plague is unacceptable. Removing a piece of art because a mortal like me decided to visit my country is unacceptable too.