TV host offers to buy 'demonic' Vic statue

·2-min read

A Melbourne council has invited US TV host John Oliver to privately view a $22,000 banana sculpture after the comedian offered to take the "demonic" piece off the city's hands.

Oliver's bizarre pitch for the 1.8-metre Fallen Fruit statue came during the latest episode of Last Week Tonight.

The controversial work by Melbourne artist Adam Stone was erected in the inner-north suburb of Fitzroy in November last year, only for it to be vandalised with a saw weeks later.

In exchange for the piece, Oliver said he would pay $10 cash, donate $15,000 towards a local food bank and the John Oliver Koala Chlamydia Ward, and replace the sculpture with one of a giant alligator showing its middle finger.

"It's basically the Cate Blanchett of banana sculptures in that it's a hauntingly pale Australian creature with a very striking bone structure," Oliver said.

The sculpture, which the artist said represented society's unsustainable excess, was funded by Victoria's Transport Accident Commission as part of a project to slow local traffic.

"I would argue that this is less a reminder to slow down and more an encouragement to speed up in order to get away from this demonic f***ing banana as soon as possible," Oliver said.

"Apparently there is now no sign of whether the banana will ever be back, which is a huge shame."

Oliver said that, given Melbourne's citizens seemed to think their money was wasted, he had the solution. "I will gladly take that banana off your hands," he said.

"What could be more Australian than a dangerous animal (alligator) telling anyone who comes near it to go f*** themselves?"

The City of Yarra was excited to hear Oliver loved the sculpture but the council was not ready to part with it just yet, Mayor Sophie Wade said.

"I would be happy to take him on a tour of our wonderful city and organise a private viewing of the banana so they can get acquainted," Cr Wade said.

"We would also like to thank everyone who has expressed concern over the banana's wellbeing.

"I am pleased to advise the banana is currently recuperating after the traumatic experience late last year and we will keep the community updated on how the banana is travelling."

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