Hundreds of people are demanding that a sexually explicit Satan statue stealthily installed in East Vancouver this week be resurrected.

City workers tore the lewd statue down Tuesday afternoon, but at least three petitions have sprung up since calling for its return.

Two petitions, which have collected more than 450 signatures combined, want the statue to be public art.

“By removing the statue of Penis Satan, you are taking from us our freedom of expression, restricting our sexuality, and stigmatizing our religious beliefs. Please return him immediately,” one petition reads.

A third petition was set up by macabre local arts duo The Granger Bros, who want to give it a home in their “Odditorium.”

Matty Granger told CTV News the statue is defensible both as an art installation and a religious monument.

“I see strange art everywhere, why not the great Satan? Why take him down?” Granger asked.

The statue was installed overnight Monday near the intersection of 4th Avenue and Clark Drive, on a pedestal previously occupied by a statue of Christopher Columbus. Crews had taken it away by around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

The City of Vancouver said it removed the Satan statue because it was not commissioned artwork.

“The statue is at one of our works yards in case the owner would like to collect it,” a spokeswoman said in a statement.

Have your say: Should Vancouver display the uncommissioned statue?