Italy covers up nude marble statues for Iranian president’s visit [Washington Post]


Italy covers up nude marble statues for Iranian president’s visit

By Ishaan Tharoor January 26 at 11:41 AM

Plywood panels cover naked statues in the Capitoline Museum during a meeting between Italian Premier Matteo Renzi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Rome on Monday.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani commenced an eventful trip to Europe this week, one that will see him ink about $18 billion worth of deals with Western companies and governments. Tehran is emerging from the isolation imposed by years of international sanctions, which were recently lifted after Iran agreed to implement strict limits on its nuclear program.

As part of his visit to Rome, Rouhani toured the famed Capitoline Museum with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Monday. The building is home to numerous prized works of antiquity, some of which appear to show human figures in the nude.

Given the sensibilities of the theocratic Iranian regime, Italian authorities decided to conceal some of the more perhaps offending artworks during Rouhani’s visit. Plywood boxes and panels were placed around the objects to obscure them from the Iranian president’s vision, or at least in photo-ops




In accordance with protocols governing visits by Muslim dignitaries, alcohol was not served at a dinner hosted in Rouhani’s honor. As my colleague Anthony Faiola noted last year, the Iranians apparently did not receive similar dispensation during an earlier visit to France, whose government balked at the notion of hosting an official dinner without wine.

Alcohol not served either from the same story.


For $18 billion in deals, I would tolerate a few nude statues and have a glass of wine.


Do we have to be fake to seal a deal? What shame is there in that art? I’ll never understand how people pretend…


I was thinking along the lines of, look how long the Vatican has been there. They’ve likely never had these kinds of accommodations made to them.


Why do you assume they are being fake, rather than being considerate?


They couldn’t.

Some of the art in the Vatican museum has nudity. I can testify to having to avert my eyes when touring the Vatican museum last year. I believe that at some point in the distant past, a painter was bought in to clothe some of the paintings but unfortunately he did not manage every picture. Our tour guide was a bit miffed that they couldn’t strip the paintings back to the original because the respectable versions were now considered historical art.

Personally I am all for clothing nude and semi nude statues, painting dignity on pictures etc.


Why? The nude body is a creation of God also, I have never been shocked or bother by nudity in classical art in the slightest. I have never understood this kind of aversion to it.


I am embarrassed that I am Italian (a rare occurrence :smiley: ).

These are works of art. Do they cover up when we go there? Well, besides the women.:smiley:


Italy was just taking cues from Georgetown University and its cross-covering antics for Obama’s speech a few years back. Can’t let the public see that. Blech.


Good heavens we managed to get to post 11 before Obama was mentioned. :wink:


I had to get it in before someone blamed Bush.

Plus, it was more a shot at a “Catholic” school than the President.


Why? The nudes in the Vatican museum are not pornographic in nature.


But was it necessary i.e. was it the norm to expose yourself in that way in the situations in the pictures. :shrug:


I presume the Sistine Chapel Frescoes will need to have ‘dignity painted on them’?


Heaven forbid! And speaking of heaven, will we wear clothing in heaven? After all, clothes were invented only after the Fall. In heaven we will be perfected, not being subject to concupiscence.




Many works of art were commissioned by the Church . The David for example was supposed to be situated on top of the Duomo in Florence. It proved to heavy to be safely supported.


Don’t tempt me!! I am laughing out loud and having a run of images. I see Italians, ladies dressed in black, running all over with bolts of cloth, gesturing wildly to one another, “there is one Maria! get it! - Sophia, over there - you missed it! Carmella - get your sister and stop stomping the grapes - we gotta get this wine out of sight!” :pizza::pizza::cake::coffee:

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