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I guess it’s like those illusion pictures you see on the Internet so much these days. [This is the best example I could find right now.](http://i.imgur.com/Q8q90k3.gif) The reason they are so “awesome” and popular is that they are viewed on a 2D surface without any depth perception. If you’d look at them in real life you could see the trickery right away. I would think that the same goes for this statue. Not that looking at it would ruin the illusion but I think touching it would.