A nude statue of a feminist icon is sparking fury

It's a tiny figurine, causing a lot of controversy.

A statue unveiled in London honoring the feminist pioneer Mary Wollstonecraft -- has become the target of critics and activists.

And protesters have attempted to cover its naked form with t-shirts and black tape.

The issue is its design.

Cast in silvered bronze, the sculpture shows a small naked female figure with a conventionally beautiful physique rising out of a much, much larger and abstract base. The actual figurine is tiny in comparison, about the size of a human head.

It was made by British artist Maggi Hambling. But its angered some feminists and other critics who say the nudity draws attention to the female body instead of honoring the 18th century intellectual's achievements and influence.

A key theme in the backlash was that men commemorated with monuments are usually fully clothed.

Hambling, the artist, says that she wanted to move away from the tradition of what she called "male heroic statuary" to create something timeless, not historical.

Groups of onlookers at the statue argued about its merits and of its critics- reflecting the strong opinions shared online.

Feminist writer Caroline Criado Perez called the new sculpture "disrespectful to Wollstonecraft."

But it's been defended by cultural historian Fern Riddell, who said people could interpret it however they wanted.