WELLESLEY, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com) --A recently installed, realistic-looking statue on the Wellesley College campus is causing some controversy.
The statue depicts a man, in his underwear, suspended in motion as if he were sleepwalking. Created by artist Tony Matelli, the statue was set up to align with the opening of the artist's exhibit in the college's Davis Museum starting Wednesday.
A petition started by a senior at the college earlier in the week on change.org to have the petition removed had more than 300 signatures as of Wednesday afternoon. It called the statue "uncomfortable and potentially triggering," and asked that if the statue were to remain up, to bring it inside the museum as part of the exhibit there.
The petition went on to note that "this highly lifelike sculpture has... become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community."
"He's called a couple of people to call campus "PO" and swerve off the road because they thought it was a real person," Emily Stidsen, a senior at the school said.
The museum's director, Lisa Fischman, responded to the petition, commenting that "art has an extraordinary power to evoke personal response, and to elicit the unexpected."
Matelli was scheduled speak at the college Wednesday evening as part of the exhibit's opening.