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Here’s What You Should Know About The Medusa Statue To Be Installed Outside Manhattan Court, That Honours #MeToo Movement

Medusa statue

A statue of Medusa, a well-known figure from Greek mythology, will be installed in New York City, US as a commemoration and honour to the #MeToo movement. It will reportedly be unveiled in front of the Manhattan court that had convicted film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2020 for his sexual offences, which had been a momentous victory for American #MeToo survivors. The sculpture is titled Medusa With the Head of Perseus, and shows Medusa standing tall with the head of Greek hero Perseus grasped in one hand and a sword in another.

The work of art belongs to Argentine-Italian artist Luciano Garbati, who wrote about the significance of his sculpture on social media, “Medusa with the head of Perseus” will be installed for 6 months in the Big Apple. The place chosen is not accidental, since there they judge cases for crimes related to violence against women.”

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Who Is Medusa?

Medusa is among the most popular and talked about characters from Greek mythology and literature. She is depicted as possessing a full head of snakes and the ability to turn people who look into her eyes to stone. Despite the strengths she wielded, she did not occupy the status of a goddess in Greece and was touted to be a “gorgon”.

The version of the classic myth most widely known was narrated by Roman writer Ovid in 8 AD. As the story goes, Medusa, one of three sisters, was a maiden in the goddess Athena’s temple. Poseidon, the powerful water god, raped Medusa in the temple. Angered by the desecration of her sacred space, Athena cursed Medusa with snakes instead of hair and a look that would turn people into stone. After receiving punishment for being raped, she was also fatally wronged by the hero Perseus, who beheaded her while she was pregnant with Poseidon’s child.

Why The Medusa Statue?

While the literal meaning of gorgon translates to “monster”, and is even translated into “a fierce or repulsive woman” today, Medusa has emerged as an impactful symbol of female fortitude, looking to avenge all the wrongs she was subjected to.

Garbati’s Medusa With the Head of Perseus is a piece of mythological revisionism in which Medusa receives due justice for the crimes inflicted against her. And as a mark of her victory, and that of all women who have been brutalised by men, she holds up Perseus’ head and the sword that beheaded it.

Weinstein is recognised as the catalyst that set off the worldwide #MeToo movement. Co-founder of the highly successful Miramax production house, Weinstein had first been accused of rape and abuse in 2017 when survivors, including high-profile actresses, began coming forward with their stories against him. This had eventually snowballed into a larger movement, that resulted in Weinstein’s arrest. He was eventually sentenced to 23 years in prison.