Naked 'David' statue in Texas depicted as Santa

BIG SPRING, Texas (AP) - December 8, 2009

Barry McBee says he was aiming to make people chuckle by adding a Santa hat and white beard to the 5-foot-tall replica of the Renaissance statue with six-pack abs - an image at odds with usual depictions of a fat, jolly St. Nick.

Then, parents started calling Big Spring city officials saying their children were asking why Santa was naked.

"I just like to shock people to make them laugh, kind of break the monotony around here," said McBee, who has all kinds of animal yard ornaments in his garage. "I just bring them out occasionally."

Last week, code enforcement officials received an informal complaint and an officer went to photograph where McBee had placed the statue, which is normally in the back yard.

The sculpture on the corner lot along a main road into McBee's subdivision did not violate any town ordinances, and the copy of one of the world's most well-known statues did not involve any obscenity issues, said Linda Sjogren, city attorney in Big Spring, about 290 miles west of Dallas.

But Sjogren, concerned that complaints would continue, decided to consult with others on a possible remedy. She posted a query on the Texas Municipal League's secure Web site, which someone with access to then reposted on Facebook.

Sjogren left McBee a voice mail last week, requesting that he put more clothes on David.

McBee relented after his friends teased him as well, putting a pair of black and white faux-velvet shorts, with a Christmas bow, on the statue.

"I think if it offends any children, I didn't want to do that," McBee said.

Lest he end up with a bag of coal for Christmas.

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