Italian Cover-Up: Nude Statues Shrouded For Iranian President

A decision by Italian officials to cover up ancient nude statues so as not to offend Iran’s visiting President is drawing ridicule.


Ahead of a news conference this week with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, wooden panels were erected around some Roman statues in Rome’s Capitoline Museums. Apparently their fig leafs weren’t big enough… or, gasp – they didn’t have a fig leaf.


When images of the cover-up made the Italian media Tuesday, politicians from across the spectrum derided the decision.


Among those heaping criticism on Prime Minister Renzi Tuesday was politician Gianluca Peciola, from the far-left SEL party, who announced a petition drive to demand that the Prime Minister explain a choice it considers “a shame and mortification for art and culture understood as universal concepts.”


On the far right, Brothers of Italy party Leader Giorgia Meloni said the “level of cultural submission” by Mr. Renzi “has surpassed every limit of decency.”


During this week’s meeting in Rome, Renzi and Rouhani committed to strengthening cultural ties. The Prime Minister’s office noted that Rome’s MAXXI museum is interested in putting on a show of (we assume fully-clothed) works from Tehran’s Museum of Contemporary Art. 

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