• The sculpture in Byron Bay was intended pay tribute to the Cape Byron Lighthouse, but locals say it resembles something else. (Byron Shire Council)Source: Byron Shire Council
A conspicuous public artwork fails to find fans in the popular northern NSW tourist town.
NITV Staff Writer

18 Jan 2019 - 2:03 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2019 - 2:03 PM

A recently erected sculpture in the northern NSW tourist town of Byron Bay has attracted widespread mockery for its allegedly phallic appearance.

The 12m-high artwork by Melbourne artist Corey Thomas was intended to resemble 6000 flying metal birds forming a silhouette of the coastal town’s historic lighthouse.

It was installed in the centre of a new roundabout as part of a $5.7 million upgrade to a major intersection at an entrance to the town.

The artwork was approved by the local council which recognises the Bundjalung of Byron Bay Arakwal people as the Traditional Owners.

But after it was raised last month, critics quickly described it as obscene.

Comments on the Bryon Shire Council’s Facebook page have described the $55,000 sculpture as a “giant silver schlong”, a “razor wire sex toy” and the "Big Byron Dick".

More than 2000 people have pledged support for an online petition calling for the “eyesore” to be removed.

The petition claims the sculpture resembles a male’s “private organ” more than a lighthouse and that such an extravagant representation undermines the area’s “humbleness”.

The controversial artwork could soon be removed soon if a motion to decommission it passes at the next council meeting.

“Ultimately, if the vast majority of our residents do not want the sculpture there, I think we need to take this on the chin and learn from it and move it away from that spot,” local councillor Michael Lyon told the Byron Shire Echo.

“I do like the idea that has been floated, around a potential artwork representing our Indigenous heritage and involving local artists.”