The octopus sculpture in Noto, Japan, is intended to stimulate tourism
Photo: YOUTUBE @TheTonarinopoti / via REUTERS
A Japanese coastal city has used parts of its corona aid to build a giant octopus sculpture - and has felt incomprehension and malice in the social networks.
The work of art is not as arbitrary as you might think at first glance.
The city of Noto in Ishikawa Prefecture received 800 million yen - the equivalent of around 6.1 million euros - from the Japanese government at the end of last year as part of an aid package intended to support the local economy in the pandemic.
The Japanese government decided in December to provide corona aid worth around 590 billion euros.
The country is currently battling a fourth wave of the pandemic.
The financial aid should bring the battered economy out of the corona low.
30 million yen for artwork
From their part of the aid package, the Noto administration apparently used 30 million yen, or almost 230,000 euros, to build a four-meter-high and nine-meter-long octopus sculpture, as reported by local media.
As a result, many made fun of it on social media, but according to the city, the action makes sense: squid is a local delicacy in Noto and the construction of the statue was part of a "long-term strategy" to stimulate tourism, the local press quotes an administrative officer.
The government's aid package was also not linked to specific requirements, such as the use of the money for people affected by Corona.
The infection numbers in Noto are currently below those in many other Japanese regions.
Nevertheless, many people on social media did not understand the city administration's decision.
Some wrote that the money should have been used more wisely.
"No matter how you look at it, that's wrong," writes one user.
"You should return the money."
zob / Reuters