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Lightning strikes Venus de Milo - only breasts survive

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A snake-like bolt of lightning has destroyed a statue of the Venus de Milo in Australia - leaving only her breasts intact.

Her sculptor, stonemason Tom Finlay, was only fifty metres away when he witnessed the strike, which he described as an ‘almighty kaboom.’

He said: “There was a clap of thunder and the sculpture blew up like a rocket-launcher had hit it. The lightning looked like a serpent. Everything disintegrated but the breasts.” Lumps of porcelanite stone were scattered around the courtyard, but miraculously Venus’ breasts had survived an eight metre drop, damaging only one nipple in the process.

Venus was 1.5m high, perched on a 6m steel reinforced column. Mr Finlay said that his Venus was his first attempt at a human sculpture and is based on the famous ancient Greek statue.

Unlike Alexandros of Antioch’s original, Mr Finlay made his Venus well-endowed, her breasts weighing 30kg alone. “It was my twist on Venus – the original was petite but I made her more motherly and voluptuous,” he said.

“I made it when Claire Martin was chief minister, and the Palmerston, Katherine and Alice Springs mayors were all women. It was my tribute to Territory women.”

While he has cordoned off the area to the public, Mr Finlay is undecided as to what he will do with the breasts. “It's still a bit raw,” he said. “I'll leave the statue the way it is to show the force of nature. I might mount them and hang them in my office.”

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