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Sculpted 66-pound jubs survive lightning blast, 26ft drop

Goddess was tribute to women

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Lightning has struck a stone sculpture of the goddess Venus and removed her breasts... But in a stroke of divine intervention, the giant stone jubs were saved, despite a 26ft drop.

Sculptor Tom Findlay told the NT News that despite the statue's body being destroyed and the 30kg (66lb) breasts being 8m (26ft) above ground, after the lightning strike and subsequent fall “only one nipple was damaged.”

The statue resided in Palmerston, a satellite city of Darwin, capital of Australia's Northern Territory. Darwin is a frontier town where a steamy tropical climate makes frequent imbibing of cool beverages entirely sensible. Drinking is also important because it is a far safer form of relief from the heat than swimming: the city's coast is thronged by man-eating salt water crocodiles who'll kill you only a little slower than the poisonous jellyfish that are also to be found at local beaches.

Findlay said the sculpture was his first such work and attempted to pay tribute to women of the Territory by depicting the goddess in rather more voluptuous form than his model for the work, the ancient Greek Venus De Milo.

Findlay's evocation of Venus De Milo is an interesting co-incidence, inasmuch as the ancient Greeks would have taken a lightning strike on a God's statue as a sign of divine displeasure. With Darwin regularly wracked by fierce tropical storms at this time of year, the lightning strike may yet prove prophetic, at least for for those inclined to interpret natural events in such ways. ®

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