Why Lille’s goddess statue is wearing a hot pink bra

The pink bra is part of an initiative to raise awareness of breast cancer and research (@MartineAubry / Twitter)

You might think that being made of stone would remove the need to wear a bra, but apparently not, as the statue of the Goddess of the Grand’Place in Lille has been wearing one since October 9.

The eye-catching pink garment has appeared on the otherwise-sombre Column of the Goddess statue in the city’s Place du Général-de-Gaulle, as part of an initiative from local businesses to raise awareness of breast cancer and research against it, during Pink October (Octobre Rose), a month dedicated to the cause.

The pink bra was created by the fashion school ESMOD, whose students have also created a series of matching tote bags, which are on sale at over 30 shops and businesses around the town centre.

Proceeds from sales of the bags will go to the Oscar Lambret cancer research centre in the Hauts-de-France.

“The bra has been placed on the goddess, in honour of her role as a courageous, strong and fighting woman. This move aims to re-centre the public's attention on the real issues of October: raising awareness of screening, and funding of breast cancer research,” read a statement from the business group.

Women aged 25 and over are encouraged to get themselves screened regularly.

The sculpture - which was unveiled in 1845 - was originally created by to commemorate the heroism of the Lille people during the siege of the city in 1792.

In her right hand, the goddess carries a firelighter, aimed at lighting the canon that hoped to crush the siege, and on the left, she displays an inscription of the response from the Mairie (town hall) at the time, refusing to surrender the town to the imperial army.

And the name of her sculptor? Théophile Bra...

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