Crowds heading for the Olympic Games area in Rome this August will be confronted by a 15-foot bronze figure called The Olympic Torch. Guaranteed to light a hot controversy, Miss Torch is the work of Italian Sculptor Emilio Greco (shown here out on a limb). If her head is classically Grecian and her bikini-clad thighs classically exuberant, her tourniquet bra achieves an unclassical flatness. Visitors to Greco's studio think they see in the statue artistic reminders of Modigliani, of the Venus Callipyge (Venus of the Beautiful Buttocks) and even of Michelangelo's chest-bound Dying Captive. With more assurance, they spot an Olympic torch and a pony-tail hairdo. Said the Italian Olympic Committee, which commissioned her: "Very beautiful."
Greco, known for his bizarre renderings of women, says he constricts their chests to suggest ideal womanly modesty. Of this work he says: "She represents the popular enthusiasm of sports, the spirit of an ancient, sacred event." Sotto voce, his favorite actress, if not his model, is Brigitte Bardot.