A Belgian mayor has apologised to residents following claims that his choice of Christmas decorations resembled a penis.
Mayor Anthony Dumarey told the community that he 'did not intentionally set out' to make the candle-shaped decorations look like illuminated genitalia.
The lights were installed in the municipality of Oudenburg in the Belgian province of West Flanders, as well as several other local boroughs.
The idea was that the flame on top of the white column should be given a modern twist, so instead of having a boring, flame-coloured yellow, it was decided that it should have a big, blue tip - for some reason.
It wasn't long before gutter-minded locals started to associate the innocent festive decs with d***s.
Dumarey said: "Of course, it was not our intention to install Christmas lights that remind people of a penis."
He added: "But we do see the lighter side of the incident."
The mayor explained that when they weren't lit up, with the blue tip less obvious, they didn't look quite so phallic.
I don't see it myself, to be honest.
Dumarey said: "I only realised it myself when they were illuminated. But we have to see the humour in this."
The decorations were designed by the council's technical department as part of a long-term plan for the area that included illuminated pyramids.
The mayor said: "Our technical department designed them. If we had bought them, it would have cost us around three times as much.
"So we chose the city's colours and put a blue tip on top because we thought a flame was cliché."
He continued: "There has been a lot of reaction, but of course we did not intentionally set out to make them this way.
"I see the funny side of it myself. We really have to do that in these dark and difficult times.
"The first time I saw them during the day, I didn't pay any attention to them. Once they were illuminated, I noticed immediately. But I see no reason to remove or replace them."
The mayor added: "Let's just say that we will have the country's most talked-about Christmas lights this year."
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