A statue placed on the dividing line between the wet and dry parts of Roseburg, Oregon by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, representing the Greek goddess Hebe is being opposed by a petition signed by 150 residents.
From the Oregonian:
Hebe, the goddess of youth, was a minor figure in Greek mythology, but she’s causing a stir in Roseburg, where civic boosters want to put up a statue of her in a city park to replace one that stood downtown almost a century ago.
Reinstating the cup bearer to the gods would bring back a charming chapter of city history, Hebe supporters say. But others see her cup of nectar as nothing less than a draft of the devil’s drink.
“She is offering an intoxicant to the gods,” resident Dick North said. “She doesn’t uphold morality. We need to have a better model for the community’s youth.”
The original Hebe stood on a fountain at the junction of Cass Avenue and Main Street from 1908 until 1912, when she was toppled in a mishap with horses.
The statue was the brainchild of the city’s Women’s Temperance Union and a group called the ’95 Mental Culture Club, which later became the Roseburg Women’s Club.
The two groups had taken up the charge of a national beautification movement and wanted to make Roseburg more appealing, said City Council member Phil Gale, who has researched town history.
About 150 people signed an anti-Hebe petition this time around — about half from Roseburg and the rest from outlying towns in Douglas County. Opponents worry that a statue of Hebe would offend Christians and foster goddess worship.
Hebe’s figure, unlike those, filthy, filthy classical statues that offended John Ashcroft, is fully clothed.