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Sleepwalker statue at US campus awakens art debate

A statue by Tony Matelli, titled "Sleepwalker", stands in the snow on the campus of Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, on 5 February 2014 Image copyright AP

A lifelike sculpture of a nearly-nude man walking in snow has drawn a mixed reaction from students at a Massachusetts college.

The artwork, entitled Sleepwalker, depicts a somnambulant in nothing but underwear at Wellesley College.

Nearly 300 people have signed a petition to have the statue removed.

The work, on campus to promote a forthcoming exhibition, is designed to trigger "unexpected new ideas", the college president said.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The sculpture - by New York-based Tony Matelli - was placed in a busy area of the Wellesley College campus days before the opening of an exhibition of the artist's work there
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Students have reported feelings of apprehension and fear after witnessing the sculpture, and have called for it to be removed.
Image copyright AP
Image caption The artwork "has started an impassioned conversation about art, gender, sexuality and individual experience", college president H Kim Bottomly said.
Image copyright AP
Image caption The art exhibition at the college's Davis Museum runs from 6 February to 20 July.

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