Xylofagou community leader and potato maker George Tasou told Cyprus Mail that despite the online innuendos about the shape of the potato, he is still proud of the city’s new landmark, stating: “I am not bothered because it has publicized in our village, and I am hoping that it will promote the Cypriot potato to the world.
Tasou took inspiration from the Big Fish statue in Belfast (it’s 32 feet long, according to Visit Belfast) to create a monument to the village’s main export. “Xylofagou has a long tradition of growing potatoes and was the main potato producer in Cyprus,” Tasou said. “It helped the village grow into the community of 10,000 people it is today.”
Despite the somewhat salacious tale surrounding the Potato Monument, which was built ahead of the next annual Cyprus Potato Festival, international publicity has already drawn attention to the small Greek village, fulfilling the Tasou’s ultimate goal. The city council has big plans for the future of the giant potato, including adding rocks and local soil to adorn the area around the sculpture, a food stand with various potato preparations, and benches for that visitors can relax and admire the view of the colossal products.
With the potato-shaped statue complete, Xylofagou will try to make international news again next year, as the potato-growing community prepares to attempt to win a Guinness World Record for deep-frying the largest portion of potato chips in the world. The goal: a value of around 1750 pounds.