The town of Piobbico in northern Italy will soon be home to a monument celebrating the notion that beauty isn’t skin deep. On September 9th The World Association of Ugly People will unveil a stone statue of a conventionally ugly man gazing into a mirror, to remind people there is beauty beyond what the media conveys.

The World Association of Ugly People has its roots in Italy but 25 branches now exist throughout the world, drawing a total of 30,000 members. Telesforo Iacobelli, president of the Association, says “The motto of our association is that a person is what he is and not what he looks like.”

Iacobelli hopes their statue will stand as both a monument and a challenge. “Everyone can come along and look into the mirror and see for themselves if they are ugly as well.”

The unveiling on the 9th will occur during their annual meeting and festival of ugly people. The festival, Festival dei Brutti, is a yearly celebration of unconventional beauty. The festival’s activities are designed to make visitors examine their notions of what is beautiful through provocative presentations of folklore, pop culture, and lifestyles.

The statue is the creation of sculptor Augusto Ranocchi and is set to be unveiled at 4:30pm. The Festival dei Brutti runs from 9:00am to 6:00pm. Further information about the event can be found at (in Italian; view the page translated to English here).

Ananova: Monument to the ugly Shrine for uglies

Dina Ely is a journalist, poet, and author of short fiction. Readers can contact her at  

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