The local council in the town of Luqa is demanding the removal of a "phallic" monument ahead of the visit by the pope this weekend to Malta.
"In the opinion of the council, the pope's first visit among us risks being a source of embarrassment to the people of Luqa and the Maltese in general, due to the obscene 'monument' which is still dominating the 'LIDL' roundabout on one's entry into the village," Mayor John Schembri said in a statement, the Times of Malta reports.
The monument, entitled Colonna Mediterranea, was created by local artist Paul Vella Critien and was erected in 2006, the newpaper says.
Critien has responded by calling his critics "ignorant" and "uneducated," the BBC reports.
He says his creation is not a phallic symbol but a modern representation of a symbol dating back to ancient Egypt.
In any case, the artist says, the pope "would look at it as a work of art. [He] is not the man in the street," the BBC reports.
The Times of Malta also notes that a group hoping to save monument was been set up on Facebook and already has more than 1,200 fans.
A statement on the page by Raphael Vassallo, who heads the movement, says:
Look: I don't like having a massive erect penis slap bang outside our airport either... but everybody accepted it until the Pope decided to pay us a visit. Now, we are suddenly embarrassed of something most of us took for granted for years. Enough of this hypocritical bulls--t. If it's good enough for the LIDL roundabout then it's good enough newspaper for Pope Benedict XVI.
lolololol, I swear to God this Papal visit is seriously bringing the LULZ over here. first Paedobear, now this. btw public opinion is OH HALEEE NAWW TO CENSORSHIP, everyone's quite pissed off.