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Atlas Obscura Paul McCarthy’s Santa Claus

Sent from one place to the next, this Christmas-y, controversial piece of public art has seen more of Rotterdam than most tourists.

The city of Rotterdam commissioned a piece of public art by American sculptor Paul McCarthy in 2001 for the Schouwburgplein square near De Doelen, the city’s orchestra building. In true McCarthy fashion, the work he created—a stylized, massive, and dark statue of Santa Claus holding a pine tree—stirred such a controversy that it was never installed at Schouwburgplein.

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