Front and rear views of the proposed AIDS memorial in Palm Springs

Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Inviting Controversy and Ridicule


A 9-foot tall carving meant to memorialize those lost to AIDS is causing controversy in Palm Springs due to its resemblance to a human orifice. The sculpture, "meant to honor those who lost their lives to HIV and AIDS, is facing scrutiny for its abstract design and perceived inappropriate connotations," reports California television station KESQ News Channel 3.

KESQ explains, "The sculpture, standing at nine feet tall, features a round limestone structure with concentric carved circles, symbolizing the diverse impact of AIDS on the community. Its design is intended to evoke feelings of connection, reflection, and hope. However, not everyone is on board with this artistic vision."

However, according to KESQ, some are calling it "inappropriate."

"It's really strained. I mean, it's almost like a piece of art looking for a purpose, instead of the other way around. It could be about anything, and as a consequence, it's kind of about nothing," Palm Springs resident Clay Sales told KESQ.

And what's bothering some is its perceived resemblance to certain body parts.

"The backside of the proposed memorial looks like a graphic depiction of the backside of a human being," said Gene Brake, another resident.

The privately funded memorial has an expected cost of $500,000. It is planned to be installed in the Downtown Park near the Marilyn Monroe statue.

"However, fears persist that if the design remains unchanged, it could become a target for ridicule on social media and elsewhere," reports KESQ.

"I can just visualize the whole slew of potential social media posts, making fun of something that is so important to our community," Brake said.

But KESQ adds that the Palm Springs AIDS Memorial Task Force told residents it would "incorporate community feedback and work on a revised design that will be revealed later this year" in response to the controversy.

"Yet, some residents are questioning why certain factions of the community was not consulted earlier in the process," according to KESQ.

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