Monday 20 November 2017

Star exhibit of members-only museum

Visitors walk around the exhibits of phalluses from whales, seals, bears and other mammals at the Phallological Museum (AP)
Visitors walk around the exhibits of phalluses from whales, seals, bears and other mammals at the Phallological Museum (AP)

A 95-year-old Icelander has left his penis to one of the world's strangest museums.

The late Pall Arason's pickled member will be the main attraction at the Phallological Museum in the tiny fishing town of Husavik.

Sigurdur Hjartarson, who runs it, said the organ will boost his 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 Mr Arason's was the first to be successfully donated, Mr Hjartarson said.

"I have just been waiting for this guy for 15 years," he said.

The museum started in Reykjavik but has since moved to Husavik, a small community probably 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 170-centimetre 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.

Mr 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 Mr 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 a small army of ghostly, whitish penises stuffed into jars, tall glass cylinders and large aquariums. There are sculptures, moulds and other penis-related craft items. Outside, the museum has a large tree trunk carved into the shape of an erect phallus.

Press Association

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