Vegas gets a bad rap for not having much culture, like wearing a yard-long version of the Eiffel Tower around your neck should be considered a faux pas or something. We have tons of culture, especially art. Just look at all the graffiti painted frescos, living sculptures, delicate cuisine and stuff.
OK so maybe we’re stretching the definition of traditional art, but we’re almost positive you’ll have a helluva time creating your own drinking game by finding each of these sculptures. At the very least, we expect you to get a little weird and inappropriate for a photo op. Just a little note as you scroll, this is by no means an exhaustive list and if you want to visit the holy mecca of Vegas statues, check out Madame Tussauds.
Slightly bizarre statues
These are the statues that when you pass them, you stop to take a second look. There is obviously some major talent involved in sculpting these, but somewhere along the design process someone took a shot of tequila and said: “You know what would make this thing really cool?” And we’re pretty stoked they did.
Winnie and Buck Greenback and their poodle Chip at Harrah’s reek of new money. Like the dreamers from the Texas trailer park that actually made it out of the doublewide. We especially love Winnie’s bouffant hair and polka dot spandex (still can’t decide if we’re relieved or disappointed at the lack of camel toe).
The giant floating heads of Siegfried and Roy outside The Mirage were sculpted in their much younger, much more robust days (obviously). Their thick and glorious manes match the lions posing with them. A favorite pastime for most picture seekers is sticking their heads into the lion’s open mouth.
And then there’s the creepy Criss Angel statue in Luxor. Seriously, what can we say about it other than it may or may not have previously been a retail mannequin or a sex doll? And we’re not trying to pass judgment, but we’re still a little skeptical that bulge is anatomically correct.
Full Monty statues
Getting naked is kind of our thing in Vegas. We’ve been on European standards of public nudity since the very first showgirls but for some reason, the rest of the country is still resisting the luring temptations of supple skin. That doesn’t exactly stop them from taking cheeky photos (see what I did there) with some of our most famous butt-baring pieces.
Not surprisingly, two of the statues happen to be European (go figure): an 18-foot tall replica of Michelangelo’s David and a wee spritely fellow who has obviously had one too many chocolate milks, Manneken Pis. Caesars‘ version of David weighs nine tons (that’s 18,000 pounds for all you mathematically-challenged folks) and is sculpted from the same Carrara marble historians believe Michelangelo chose for the Italian Stallion in Florence. Wonder how much that set them back? Ha, so do we.
Manneken Pis, which is Flemish for “little man pee,” has thick curly locks, surprisingly sculpted abs and chubby thighs. And like many Vegas visitors, seems to have left his moral compass at home. He’s one of three licensed replicas in the world and as far as we can tell, has no problem taking pictures with people visiting The D in downtown Las Vegas.
But not to be outdone are the finely stair-mastered derrières of the Crazy Girls statue. These ladies are arguably the most photographed statue in Vegas, with thousands of people getting handsy for pictures. These are the only butts you can rub without risking having a drink thrown in your face so visit them at Planet Hollywood when the urge arises.
We may not have our own sports team but that doesn’t stop us from being raging fans, especially when there’s dolla dolla bills involved. You’d think there would be more statues immortalizing the folks that have made us so much money but alas, they’re a little hard to find.
Unless they’re a seven-and-a-half-foot tall Joe Louis in Caesars Palace. At 4,500 pounds, we can’t see the boxing champ being moved out of his location outside the Mesa Grill anytime soon. But here’s where we get a little rando: We’ve got an unidentifiable football player at New York-New York and a bronze baseball player at the old Las Vegas Club downtown. Rumors swirl around both figures, yet nobody can seem to really shed any light on their true identities. Judging by the schnoz on the football player, he kinda looks like the Jet’s old quarterback Vinny Testaverde (which was around the time the casino was built), although he could be a younger svelte-er Joe Namath. You decide.
The baseball player is rumored to be Joe DiMaggio, but that just couldn’t be true because Mr. Marilyn Monroe batted right-handed and the statue is clearly a Southpaw. Since the closing of the old Las Vegas Club, the baseball player’s fate has been in question. But we’ve recently been told he’ll eventually end up at the Neon Museum where we can continue to love and appreciate his strange proportions and anonymous identity.
Historical figures statues
We’re all about teaching the history you can’t find in text books, but these are pretty straightforward. There have been several historical figures that have passed through Sin City, but we’re pretty sure Julius Caesar wasn’t one of them.
He’s pretty much everywhere in his namesake casino, but it’s fun to get a little strange with the one in the lobby, especially if you’re still rocking the Russell Crow “Gladiator” haircut. On the other hand, Elvis not only passed through Vegas, he pretty much tattooed his name on our asses before he left. The bronze Elvis statue at the Westgate Resort pays homage to The King and the 837 consecutive sold out shows he played here. Only that’s a lie. The real number is somewhere in the 600s but the Colonel, Elvis’ manager at the time, liked to embellish a little. No harm, no foul (shoulder shrug).
And then there’s the headless giant, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, standing 14 feet tall at Red Square in Mandalay Bay. Before you start spewing “Soviet Commie” rhetoric, you should know you aren’t the first. After complaints to the hotel, they lopped off his head and froze it in an ice block in the vodka vault downstairs. Nothing like sending a message, huh? ‘Merica.
Mythical creatures statues
Who says fantasies don’t come true? Somebody probably told Bugsy Siegel that creating an oasis in the desert was a complete pipe dream too, yet here we are. We’re all about making fantasies a reality in Sin City and in this case, you can put your gaming controller down and find a ton of mythical creatures to fill your little Dungeons and Dragons heart to the brim.
Move over Ariel, because the Mirage’s mermaids are a sexier, saucier version of the childhood hero. Plus, they’re topless. And I don’t care who you are, you will secretly want to touch their bronze boobies when nobody’s looking. They even say it’s good luck, so feel free to grope these mermaids and not the ones at the Silverton.
Pegasus is the immortal winged stud you learned about in high school, or maybe you slept through that class. He’s also the center of attention at the Fountain of the Gods in the Forum Shops. Do not –we repeat – do not climb the Pegasus, unless you send us a picture. Just kidding, it’s not worth the stitches or jail time.
Head of a human and the body of a lion, we must be talking about the Sphinx in the Luxor, right? Yep, but specifically the giant one inside. Is “Walk Like an Egyptian” ringing through anyone else’s head, right now? He may be a symbol of strength and wisdom, but it remains to be proven that any visitors actually use those traits while they’re here. Oh well, can’t win ’em all.
Did we forget to include your favorite? Add them to the comments section below then take a look at even more Vegas attractions.