07:34 GMT22 October 2020
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    According to ancient Greek mythology, Medusa was not always a terrible monster with a petrifying gaze. She was only turned into what she is popularly known for after Poseidon raped her in Athena's temple. Athena then caused the change to Medusa, and refused to punish Poseidon for his attack.

    After it was announced that a statue showing a reversed version of the famous Medusa myth would be erected in front of the Manhattan courthouse under the #MeToo movement, social media users quickly became engaged in heated debate involving everything from #MeToo to interpretations of Greek mythology.

    The sculpture, created by Luciano Garbati, pictures Medusa Gorgo holding a sword and the head of Perseus - the man who originally killed her on the order of King Polydectes. It it a reversed version of a more famous statue - Perseus with the Head of Medusa, sculpted in the 16th century by Benvenuto Cellini and exhibited in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy.

    The Medusa reboot will be put up on Tuesday in Collect Pond Park, and the project team notes that the installation denounces victim-blaming and thus echoes the #MeToo movement.

    "Through this work, Garbati asks “how can a triumph be possible if you are defeating a victim?” This narrative of victim-shaming in stories of sexual violence echoes through time, and into the present day “me too” movement", the Medusa With The Head (MWTH) project said in a statement on the exhibition.

    ​The new vision of the myth has naturally caused debate online - with people clashing over myth interpretation and questioning the appropriateness of glorifying Medusa killing Perseus, since Poseidon was her rapist, not Zeus' son.

    ​Others pointed out that it was a woman - Athena the goddess of wisdom - who turned Medusa into the monster.

    ​Those describing themselves as rape survivors denounced the idea, saying that they would not want violence to be offered as a solution.

    ​Other users suggested how they think the statue should be interpreted.

    ​Many ridiculed those who missed the point that the statue is a reverse version of Cellini's sculpture.

    ​Others, inspired by the new statue, shared ideas on Medusa avenging herself.

    ​Some dug deeper into mythology, considering an alternate outcome caused by the proposed vision of the Medusa myth. As, originally, Medusa was turned into a monster after being raped by Poseidon and attempted to seek protection from Athena before being killed by Perseus, a reverse universe could have Andromeda not saved by Perseus.

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    Tags:
    sculpture, statue, MeToo, national mythology, US
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