Italy hides ancient museum nudes from Rouhani

2016-01-26 22:42
Wooden panels cover statues inside Rome's Capitoline Museums.  (AP)

Wooden panels cover statues inside Rome's Capitoline Museums. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - A decision by Italian officials to cover up ancient nude statues to not offend Iran's visiting president is drawing ridicule in Rome.

Ahead of a news conference on Monday with Premier Matteo Renzi and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, wooden panels were erected around some Roman statues in Rome's Capitoline Museums.

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

The museum said on Tuesday that the premier's office wanted the statues along Rouhani's path to the news conference covered up. Renzi's office declined to comment.

Renzi and Rouhani spoke in a room featuring the famed bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, fully clothed.

Among those heaping criticism on Renzi on Tuesday was politician Gianluca Peciola, from the far-left SEL party, who announced a petition drive to demand that the premier 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 that the "level of cultural submission" by Renzi "has surpassed every limit of decency". She recalled what for many was a dismaying precedent - the draping of a modern nude statue when the crown prince of United Arab Emirates visited Palazzo Vecchio, the city hall in Renzi's home region.

During this week's meeting in Rome, Renzi and Rouhani committed to strengthening cultural ties. The premier's office noted that Rome's MAXXI museum is interested in putting on a show of works from Tehran's museum of contemporary art.

After Rome, Rouhani heads to Paris. Last autumn, an unsourced French radio report said the Iranian leader had cancelled a lunch at the French presidential palace because the palace refused to offer a halaal menu without wine. The palace insisted such a lunch had never been planned.

That European trip was scratched after the November 13 attacks in Paris.

Rouhani's schedule for this trip includes no meals with French officialdom.

Read more on:    italy  |  iran

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.