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Giant naked woman sculpture planned for National Mall

Giant naked woman sculpture planned for National Mall. (Catharsis on the Mall)

This fall, National Mall visitors might be surprised to find a giant sculpture of a naked woman near the Washington Monument. If the organizers’ permit is approved, the sculpture would become a temporary fixture, allowed to stand there for four months.

For a third year, organizers of Catharsis on the Mall, similar to the Burning Man festival in Nevada, plan to bring music, art and activism to the National Mall over Veteran's Day weekend.

But as first reported by DCist, this year's centerpiece will be a 45-foot tall sculpture called R-Evolution. Organizers plan to keep the sculpture on the Mall long after the festival ends, from November through March, hoping she inspires a conversation about equality and safety for women.

Organizer Sanam Emami said, “She's standing there radiating her energy out to the world, with no apologies and no excuses, just as how she is. Completely present.”

The plan is for the sculpture to be facing north toward the White House. But the organizers said this positioning is not necessarily about President Trump.

“She means many different things for different people,” Emami said.

Many tourists on the Mall said they would welcome a giant sculpture of the female form.

“I think that's amazing. We should be proud of our bodies,” said Roenee Jones.

“My recommendation would be maybe 10 or 12 [sculptures] representing every body type of women, not just some Barbie-type thing,” added Janice Gutierrez.

But Quenisha Sparks calls the whole idea “absurd.”

“I feel like this is more of a family-oriented place and I just don't think it's the right statue to put up,” Sparks said.

There's even worry this will become a distraction for the President.

“We don't need that because [President Trump] is going to say something about it on Twitter,” said Quinlan Jones. “We don't need him tweeting about anything else.”

The National Park Service said no permit has been issued yet. The application for a four month-long vigil event is still under review.

Park Service spokesperson Mike Litterst said, “They do have the requirement of having at least one person with it at all times. You can't abandon structures or property as part of the vigil.”

Organizers are seeking vigil volunteers. They are also crowdfunding, so far raising more than $11,000 with a $90,000 goal.

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