A MALTESE town is to cover its famous phallic statue in a school uniform to avoid offending the Pope.
Pope Benedict is due to visit the town of Luqa on Saturday, but many fear he may be embarrassed by the Colonna Mediterranea monument unless it looks as if it is poking out of an adolescent boy's fly.
Local mayor, John Schembri, said: "We're having a 30ft pair of shorts made while a local artist is painting a huge mural of a priest with a hungry look in his eye to stand next to it."
The sculpture is to be renamed 'Choirboy Resplendent' and will be fitted with a special collar to to make it look appropriately uncircumcised.
Schembri added: "This is a huge occasion for our village and the last thing we need is an 83 year-old Bavarian catholic gaping in horror at 10 foot of powerfully tumescent Jewishness."
The mayor revealed that an earlier plan to cover the monument with a sheet of plastic was abandoned amid fears it could send the Pontiff into a prophylactic-induced fit.
But Paul Vella Critien, the artist who completed the work in 2006, said: "It shows a shocking ignorance of art that my reinterpretation of an Egyptian obelisk could be confused for…oh, hang on, I see it now. It's a great, big multi-coloured cock, isn't it?"