The towering painting of a penis that appeared on the side of a five-story building in New York on Christmas Eve was painted over Wednesday by order of the building’s landlord, after local residents objected to the appropriateness of the mural.

The mural on the Broome Street building in the Lower East Side became the talk of the neighborhood after it was painted there by Swedish artist Carolina Falkholt, who said it was meant to be a companion piece to an abstract painting of a vast vagina further east on Pike Street.

Amid the buzz and outrage among some New Yorkers, Falkholt took to Instagram to claim credit for the controversial art piece. She gleefully responded to one of the key observations of people about the painting – her penis didn't have any testicles.

“NO TIME 4 BALL$$ . . . I have never heard so much laughter and seen so many happy faces behind my back when painting as for today doing this wall on Broome Street,” she wrote in a caption to the photo of her artwork on Instagram.

According to the New York Post, the building on which the mural was made is owned by Sassan “Sami” Mahfar, who was out of town when the painting appeared at the side of his property.

“Somebody probably on the street — there’s artists on the Lower East Side that keep drawing on the walls,” a woman who spoke on the owner’s behalf told the Post. “I’m gonna have somebody look into it.”

The next one knew, orders had been given for the mural to be painted over.

Falkholt told the Guardian that her painting was not meant to offend anyone. She said she simply wanted to raise awareness that there is nothing to be ashamed of the human body, including the sexual parts.

“I usually paint giant vaginas, p------ and c---- and since I had just finished one on the side of a five-storey building, I felt like a d--- was needed,” the artist said. “The wall space on Broome was a perfect fit for it. To paraphrase [the artist] Judith Bernstein, if a d--- can go into a woman, it can go up on a wall.”

"Art is one of the only places left where we can truly be free and discuss whatever difficult topics there are, since art has the ability to translate and transform language in any direction possible,” she added.

However, as it turned out, most people in the neighborhood were not ready for such a bold artistic expression. “You may not have any children or may not live here to have to walk by and see this, [but] I certainly was not happy to have to explain to my 8-year-old twins what this was,” local activist and District 1 Community Education Council member Naomi Pena said in an email.

Tourists who flocked to New York City on Christmas were confused by the vulgarity of the painting. “It’s weird, because it’s so phallic that it’s beyond sexual harassment,” Avery Plewis, who was visiting from Toronto, said. “Harassment is often secretive but this is totally in-your-face.”

Nevertheless, there were some who chose to appreciate the art instead of criticizing its inappropriateness. “The colors make it very artistic,” Lauren Deutsch, from Los Angeles, said. “I’d laugh about it but I wouldn’t want it myself. We don’t see anything like that in LA.”

“Walking out and seeing this is a massive contrast,” George Petridis, who came across the painting after leaving a drawing class in Spring Studio, a few doors down, said. “That’s what some people think of as art right now. It doesn’t offend me, but it doesn’t bother me either, and I’m not going to spend a lot of time thinking about it.”

The painting was commissioned by a street art foundation called The New Allen.

A police source told the New York Post that Falkholt will be questioned regarding the painting and charges might be brought against her if she is found guilty. "No arrest yet, but the charge would be criminal mischief felony,” the source said.