Mem­bers only

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - BULLETIN -

it’s nice to have a pas­sion. Some peo­ple col­lect stamps, some col­lect per­fume bot­tles, or lit­tle crys­tal hedge­hogs. Sig­urður Hjar­tar­son col­lects penises: an ele­phant pe­nis, a wal­rus pe­nis and even a teensy-weensy ham­ster pe­nis (size is not all that mat­ters with phal­luses, as you may have heard). Hjar­tar­son orig­i­nally started a pri­vate col­lec­tion in 1974: the idea came about when some friends brought him a bull pe­nis as a joke. He thought it would be in­ter­est­ing to start col­lect­ing the spec­i­mens,and things only got more se­ri­ous from there.

About 17 years ago, he erected the Phal­lo­log­i­cal Mu­seum in Reyk­javik, which quickly be­came a quirky tourist at­trac­tion (where it’s manda­tory to mea­sure your height be­side the sus­pended whale sch­long). The mu­seum fea­tures shelves and glasses filled wall-towall with penises, and with­out get­ting too weirded out by the idea, the mu­seum is an amus­ing and in­for­ma­tive ret­ro­spec­tive of ev­ery mam­mal’s pe­nis spec­i­men in Ice­land: 283 biological spec­i­mens are all housed in one build­ing. Re­cently,the doc­u­men­tary The Fi­nal Mem­ber told the story be­hind the mu­seum’s first hu­man ac­qui­si­tion, do­nated by an in­fa­mous Ice­landic ad­ven­turer,Pall Ara­son,whose last wish was to have his pe­nis on dis­play in the mu­seum. Hjar­tar­son,how­ever,was dis­pleased with the re­sults.‘His or­gan had shrunk quite a bit,’ he told The Daily Beast. But the quest to ob­tain a sat­is­fac­tory hu­man sam­ple en­dures, ide­ally younger and grander. ‘We just wait and our time will come,’ Hjar­tar­son mused about the eva­sive pe­nis, his metaphor­i­cal Moby-Dick.

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