Yesterday, as part of his tour of Europe, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited Rome’s Capitoline Museums, where he met Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi. A member of his staff uploaded an impressive photograph of the museum’s iconic equestrian statue to his Instagram, but Rouhani never managed to see a number of the institution’s most ’grammed and treasured marble sculptures, which museum officials covered up in anticipation of his visit, for fear that their nudeness might offend him.
As Italian news site Corriere reported, a number of statues — including the museum’s famed Capitoline Venus — were kept hidden under minimalist white boxes, inadvertently transforming the museum’s hallowed hallways into an unauthorized Donald Judd installation. It also closed a gallery housing Pietro da Cortona’s 1627 painting “The Rape of the Sabine Women” and the Halls of the Horti Lamiani, filled with impeccably chiseled, but alas, wholly exposed nipples belonging to the likes of the Esquiline Venus and a couple of sea centaurs. The censorship is apparently part of a “blackout” of nudes arranged by the museum in agreement with Renzi’s office as a sign of respect for Iranian culture. According to Corriere, a toast during a dinner held in honor of Rouhani was also void of alcohol.
Italians were quick to object to the cover-ups, describing the action as a renouncement of their culture. Many took to Twitter, flooding the social network with images of nude sculptures accompanied by the hashtag #statuenude. Local politicians also chimed in; MP Daniele Capezzone, for instance, said the censorship introduced “a touch of the ridiculous” to Rouhani’s visit.
“Italy bowing down to the Iranians like this is embarrassing,” Capezzone said. “Is Italy reduced to this? And to not serve wine, again so as not to ‘offend’?”
Gianluca Peciola, another local politician, was so outraged that he launched an online petition calling on Renzi to immediately explain what he considers a disgrace and humiliation in the name of art and culture, writing that national principles had been severely violated and compromised. As of press time, it has received nearly 800 signatures.
Rouhani plans to fly to Paris following his tour of Italy. Unless the French government has plans to follow the Italians’ lead, the president would do well to avoid the Louvre and the gardens of Versailles.
The union said that grass hedges were erected around the entrance to block the gala’s guests from seeing the protest outside.
The small New York art fair celebrated its 26th edition with the works of 11 women artists.
Curated by Clare Dolan, this solo exhibition in Frenchtown, NJ contains new and unearthed paintings, sculptures, and prints selected from the organization’s 60-year history.
The artist couple shared creativity and mutual devotion reflecting a period of light and joy that came after considerable darkness in their early lives.
The plot of Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes’s film moves backward in time, continually recontextualizing what at first looks like a simple situation.
Conversations with Leslie Barlow, Mary Griep, Alexa Horochowski, Joe Sinness, Melvin R. Smith, and Tetsuya Yamada will be accessible online or in person at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
It’s art fair season and we’re here to comfort and entertain you during this difficult time of the year with a new, biting edition of our Bingo card series.
Jeremy Webster of Leicester University’s Attenborough Arts Centre reportedly pelted the statue from behind a fence.
Now on view in Pasadena, this exhibition explores how four artists challenged the limitations of gestural abstraction by exploiting the resonance of figural forms.
The artifacts are estimated to date from 400 to 300 BCE, when Greek settlements existed along the northern shores of the Black Sea near Odesa.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel and model Miranda Kerr paid off the student loans of 285 recent graduates.
Cammie Tipton-Amini’s opinion piece “When Ukraine Was Newly Independent and Everything Was Possible” employs simplistic whataboutism that dangerously echoes Putin’s lies.