Giant inflatable Christmas tree that looks like sex toy destroyed by vandals

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An inflatable Christmas tree in Paris, that upset anti-gay groups because it looks like a sex toy, has been destroyed by vandals.

The 80ft tree, made by LA-based artist Paul McCarthy, was erected this week in Place Vendome, near Paris city centre, but had attracted criticism because it looked like a giant butt plug.

It was popped by vandals overnight – just a day after far-right group Printemps Francais claimed the work had “disfigured” Paris.

A police spokesperson said: “Individuals have severed the cables that hold the sculpture in place, taking advantage of a momentary lack of a security guard.”

“Investigations are ongoing.”

French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin decried the vandalism as an “an attack on creative freedom”, while Paris deputy mayor Bruno Julliard also condemned the attack.

The Christmas tree had proved popular online – but some joked: “Frankly it’s more appropriate to have a giant buttplug in the middle of Paris than to have a Christmas tree up in October.”

Earlier this year, a town in Michigan demanded a sculpture be removed from public view – because it looked like a gay orgy.

Meanwhile, a statue of Satan, complete with a large erection, mysteriously appeared in Vancouver last month.