A statue showing a naked Roman emperor Trajan carrying a wolf has drawn jeers in Romania since it was unveiled outside Bucarest's National History Museum.
The bronze statue by Vasile Gorduz (1931-2008) portrays the genesis of the Romanian people from the merging of the Romans and the Dacians, with the wolf as a symbolic animal.
The strange posture and the nudity of the male character, as well as the appearance of the wolf with a scarf recalling the Dacians' flag around its neck have drawn an avalanche of mocking remarks from passers-by and on the Internet.
"I have never seen anything so grotesque, a wolf with a pitbull's head, a lizard's tail and a tumor on its neck, carried by a guy who is visibly embarrassed by his nudity," said a woman in her forties.
The curator of the museum, Ernest Oberlander Tarnoveanu, said he shared the criticism.
"I am not a prude or a conservative, but the statue should never have been erected here because of its doubtful artistic quality," he told AFP, stressing that sooner or later it would have to go.
Meanwhile, websites were flooded by ironic comments from bloggers.
"I don't get it, the guy has no underwear but the stray dog wears a scarf, so is it cold or is it warm?," wondered NL on HotNews.ro.
"I suggest the statue should be called 'Centurion Biggus Dickus (as in Monty Python's Life of Brian) and the Levitating Dog'," wrote another, I.
"Bucharest's mayor has just inaugurated the first monument dedicated to Romania's stray dogs," wrote Times New Roman, a humorous website, while a reader, Sousake, added: "The orginal name of the statue was: Romanian man after paying his taxes."