Italians angered as nude statues covered to save Iranian blushes

Politicians slam Italian PM for making almost no reference to Iran's human rights record during presser with Rouhani, and for "surrendering" Italy's cultural identity by hiding nude statues of women.

By REUTERS
January 27, 2016 08:26
1 minute read.
rouhani renzi

ran President Hassan Rouhani (L) talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Campidoglio palace in Rome, Italy, January 25, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

ROME - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi came under fire on Tuesday after ancient nude statues in Rome's Capitoline museum were covered up to avoid any possible offense to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who is visiting the country.

Italy and Iran will sign up to 17 billion euros of business deals during the two day visit of the Iranian delegation which began on Monday, but Italian opposition leaders and commentators said Renzi had gone too far to please his guest.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Politicians on the Left and Right said not only had Renzi made almost no reference to Iran's human rights record during a joint news conference, but had also "surrendered" Italy's cultural identity by hiding the nude statues of women.

"Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own," said Luca Squeri, a lawmaker in former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's center-right Forza Italia party. "This isn't respect, it's cancelling out differences and it's a kind of surrender."

At Iran's request Italy also kept wine off the menu at a ceremonial dinner on Monday evening.

Northern League deputy Barbara Saltamartini said covering the statues with white panels was an "act of submission," while the party's leader Matteo Salvini wrote on his Facebook page that it was "crazy".

Gianluca Peciola, of the Left, Ecology and Freedom party, called on Renzi to explain "a disgraceful decision which is a mortification of art and culture as universal values".

The 41-year-old Renzi met with similar criticism last year when he covered up nude pictures in the renaissance town hall of Florence, the city where he used to be mayor, on the occasion of a visit by the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Visitors read books at the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, which calls itself the world's biggest
October 18, 2018
'World's largest book sale' opens shop in Dubai

By REUTERS