Pickled penis main museum attraction

2011-04-13 07:21

London – In life, Pall Arason sought attention. In death, he is getting it: The 95-year-old Icelander’s pickled penis will be the main attraction in one of his country’s most bizarre museums.

Sigurdur Hjartarson, who runs the Phallological Museum in the tiny Icelandic fishing town of Husavik, said Arason’s organ will help round out the unusual institution’s extensive collection of phalluses from whales, seals, bears and other mammals.

Several people had pledged their penises over the years – including an American, a Briton, and a German – but Arason’s was the first to be successfully donated, Hjartarson said.

“I have just been waiting for this guy for 15 years,” he told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview.

Hjartarson’s museum started in Reykjavik but has since moved to Husavik, a small community better known for its whale watching.

The Phallological Museum is an important part of the region’s tourist industry, bringing in thousands of visitors every summer.

Highlights of the museum’s collection include a 170cm sperm whale penis preserved in formaldehyde, lampshades made from bull testicles and what the museum described as an “unusually big” penis bone from a Canadian walrus.

Hjartarson (69) said his interest in what he calls “phallology” began when, as a youngster in rural Iceland, he was given a whip made from a bull’s penis to help him herd cattle.

Later, when he worked at a school near a whaling station, colleagues brought him whale penises as gifts.

“That was how it started. I opened this museum 15 years ago with 62 specimens,” he said. Now, with the addition of Arason’s organ, he has 276, many suspended in formaldehyde or dried and mounted on the walls.

Photos posted to the museum’s website show small army of ghostly, whitish penises stuffed into jars, tall glass cylinders and large aquariums. There are sculptures, molds and other penis-related craft items.

Outside, the museum has a large tree trunk carved into the shape of an erect phallus.

Most items are donations from friends and well-wishers, people listed on the museum’s website as “honorary members”.

Arason was described by Hjartarson as a former tourism worker who died in January in the nearby town of Akureyri.

Thorvaldur Ingvarsson, the medical director of Akureyri’s hospital, didn’t give a cause of death but said the specimen was removed from the body under the supervision of a doctor.

The phallus was officially installed in a ceremony last week, Hjartarson said, adding that he saw nothing wrong with the idea of having someone donate their penis to be shown off to the public.

“People are always donating some organ after they died,” he said. “It’s no more remarkable to donate a penis than it is to donate an organ like a kidney.”

Hjartarson said the donation fit with Arason’s personality.

“He liked to be in the limelight, you know? He was a funny guy,” he said. “He was a boaster, a braggart ... he liked to be provocative.”

But the museum director was coy when asked about the size of his newest acquisition.

“I can’t tell you that,” Hjartarson said. “You will just have to come and see it.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.