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German police are investigating the mysterious disappearance of a wooden sculpture of a penis that has entertained hikers in the Bavarian Alps for years.

“We have opened an investigation into the disappearance of the piece,” which reportedly vanished last weekend from the Gruenten mountain, Bavarian police spokesman Holger Stabik told AFP on Tuesday.

A stump and some wood shavings are all that remains of the work depicting a giant phallus which stood nearly two metres (six feet) tall in the Alpine village of Rettenberg, according to the local Allgaeuer Zeitung newspaper.

“Someone must have sawn it off during the night,” a local woman told the newspaper.

Police are unsure whether a criminal offence has been committed, Stabik said — not least because it remains unknown who created the giant penis or put it there in the first place.

“This might not be our leading hypothesis, but it could be the owner who sawed it off to get it back,” he said.

The sculpture already made headlines in Germany a few weeks ago when it had to be “re-erected” after being knocked from its pedestal.

The mayor of Rettenberg said it was a “great pity” to lose an unusual “cultural monument” that had helped make the region so popular.

The artwork is also described as a “cultural monument” on Google Maps. Agence France-Presse

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