London: A new controversial artwork, which shows Silvio Berlusconi lying in a casket on a velvet carpet and gives the impression that he is dead, pokes fun at the beleaguered former Italian premier and hints at his sins.
The very realistic waxwork, entitled Il Sogno degli Italiani’ or ‘The Dream of the Italians’, has been created by artists Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento, the first ever married gay couple who tied the knot in Amsterdam in 2002.
The name of the installation refers to what Berlusconi apparently called himself on the phone to one of his girlfriends, according to Italian media.
The former prime minister, who is still very much alive at 75, is seen smiling as he lies in a glass coffin with his eyes closed.
Bizarrely he is wearing giant Mickey Mouse slippers as he lies on a satin pillow in a double-breasted blue jacket.
There is also one hand inside his unzipped trousers while the other hand rests on the History of Italy.
Positioned in a shrine at the Ferrajoli Palace, the shocking installation is available for all Italians to see and is just yards from Berlusconi’s former stomping ground, the Palazzo Chigi, the official residence of Italian prime ministers.
“We put Berlusconi’s body into a glass case to emphasise the personality cult that he has been creating for all these years and which will possibly remain for years to come,” the Daily Mail quoted Garullo and Ottocento as saying.
“At the same time we put a screen between the contingent reality and historical judgment.”
“If Italians are ultimately `a people of saints, poets, seafarers`, then the arch-Italian Silvio is a worthy simulacrum of this people,” they said.
Berlusconi stepped down as premier last November after failing to come up with convincing reforms to help Italy exit from the sovereign debt crisis.
The last part of his term in office was marred with a constant stream of lurid revelations about his private life.
The sleazy politician is currently embroiled in a high-profile court case after being accused of paying for sex with underage minor Karima El Mahroug, also known as Ruby the Heartbreaker, in February 2010 when she was just 17-years-old.