'Have we got nudes for you? No, Mr President Rouhani!

'Have we got nudes for you? No, Mr President Rouhani! January 27, 2016

Outrage spread throughout Italy and beyond when people got wind of the fact that Italian officials had hidden nude statues behind panels at Rome’s Capitoline Museum as a mark of respect for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
According to this report, many took to social media to vent their anger, as the two examples below show.

Many also shared pictures of nude statues on the Internet.
The cover-up took place prior to Rouhani’s scheduled press conference earlier this week. The move was seen by many seen as “the heights of cultural submission” and an “insult to Roman art”.
Photographs of the museum visit show Rouhani meeting Matteo Renzi, the Italian Prime Minister.
According to this report, a spokesman for Renzi did not immediately return a request for comment. A spokesman for the city of Rome, which manages the museum, said any decision regarding the ceremony with Rouhani and display of artwork had been made by the Prime Minister’s office.
The decision to cover the artwork was seen as a sign of respect for the Iranian president, according to the Italian news agency Ansa. Not everyone agreed.
Said Luca Squeri, a lawmaker in Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party:

Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own. This isn’t respect, it’s cancelling out differences and it’s a kind of surrender.

In another placatory gesture by Italian officials, alcohol was not served at an official dinner held in Rouhani’s honour, abiding by a standard diplomatic gesture for visiting Muslim dignitaries.
It was not the first time that Renzi – a Florentine who is usually a proud advocate for Italy’s rich cultural heritage – has sought to be culturally sensitive in a high-stakes meeting.
In October, a cordon was placed around a nude statue by the American artist Jeff Koons during a visit to Florence by Renzi and Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi.
Rouhani’s visit to Europe – his first since sanctions were lifted in Iran – was supposed to take place in November but was delayed following the Paris terror attacks.
On Tuesday, he had a private meeting with Pope Francis and other top church officials where the two leaders held “cordial” talks, the Vatican said, adding that the two men shared:

Common spiritual values.

While the meeting was rare, it was not unprecedented. The last meeting between a pope and Iranian head of state took place in 1999 and the Vatican has long maintained diplomatic relations with Iran even as the republic was shunned by much of the Western world.
Hat tip: Trevor Blake and BarrieJohn

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  • L.Long

    I don’t see why they are all so pissed off??!!!??
    After all look at all the Roman & Greek statues the dimwitted xtian aholes defaced by cropping off the penises and covering the breasts & vaginas.
    Personally if the isLameic dude did not like the statues (which he would be salivating over), then the dimwitted religious nutjob could just stay home.

  • AgentCormac

    Can you imagine any of the muslim countries ever compromising their culture or somehow shamefully disowning their heritage in order to accommodate the sensitivites of a visitor from the West? Not a chance! Dignitaries from here must do whatever is demanded of them in order to ‘respect’ the ‘values’ of muslim states while visiting. Once again we are pandering to people who refuse to give an inch but insist on everyone else giving a mile.

  • Justin Badby

    The statues were covered up so that the sexually repressed Rouhani didn’t have a messy accident up his nightshirt.

  • Justin Badby

    And that picture of the evil bastards francis and rouhani is sinister.

  • Justin Badby

    So please remove the star and crescent from all the mosques when the pope visits iran. Yes? No? What?

  • Justin Badby

    These men are so sexually repressed as to be a danger to the world. Who knows what evil they will do when their brains are squirming in their skull through sheer absence of a healthy sex life.

  • Justin Badby

    Are they shaking hands or slyly doing something a bit less wholesome.

  • Stuart H.

    I guess the real reason for all the ‘politeness’ is Italy hopes Iran will buy loads of stuff now the economic sanctions are lifted. In UK and France this will happen too because of all the promised Airbus sales….
    .. which has me wondering… Saudi delegations come to UK to buy arms and in public it’s all respect for Islam while in private it’s hookers and beer. So wonder what other hospitality the Italians are offering the Iranians in private? The Vatican could even chip in with access to their infamous rent boy rackets (as revealed in Italian press some time ago if I recall).

  • Angela_K

    It would have been better to leave the statues uncovered to show these sexually repressed savages that in the west we have freedom of artistic expression.

  • Newspaniard

    Hmmmm Did they also cover up their fountains and statues in and around Rome or were the car’s windows blacked out to prevent the visitors getting too excited?
    One pervert to another, “Did you hurt your head?”.

  • Brian Jordan

    “On Tuesday, he had a private meeting with Pope Francis and other top church officials where the two leaders held “cordial” talks, the Vatican said, adding that the two men shared:
    Common spiritual values.”
    A holy alliance: probably worse than an unholy alliance. Be prepared for a joint assault on secularism.

  • CharlyO

    “Common spiritual values.”
    Most likely all too true.

  • Laura Roberts

    Two words: John Ashcroft. While the slimy twat was U.S. Attorney General, he had the statue “Spirit of Liberty” covered because his pre-adolescent sensibilities couldn’t handle being in the same room with the mere depiction of a bare breast.
    In a similar move, general-turned-gutless-flunky Colin Powell had the “Guernica” tapestry at the UN covered when he presented the fake case for invading Iraq (using evidence he himself had termed “bullshit” before he surrendered his testicles).

  • Peterat

    If he doesn’t like the sight of a penis – and small ones at that – maybe he should stop looking in the mirror! What a dick!

  • AgentCormac

    Sorry to go OT, but some disturbing news from the BHA regarding government attempts to ban the organisation from exposing law-breaking faith schools, claiming that ‘secularists made too many ‘vexatious’ claims against religious schools’.

  • barriejohn

    It would, indeed, be very embarrassing for Mr Rouhani were he to be seen to have an erection underneath that robe thing that he wears – though he could always strap down his penis to prevent such an unfortunate episode!

  • barriejohn
  • Laura Roberts

    @barriejohn: excellent! What f–king business is it of Rouhani what someone else eats or drinks?! Just for that I’d ensure bacon was on the menu.

  • barriejohn

    Laura: I resisted the temptation to make a cheap jibe about the Italians surrendering again. Oh, no, now I’ve done it!

  • barriejohn

    Jerry Coyne has just posted this link:
    “See no evil”!

  • Vanity Unfair

    To AgentCormac:
    I have sent an Email to richy@humanism.org.uk offering to forward any rejected institutional comments as a concerned individual. I don’t suppose there is any limit to the number of people who could do likewise should this ban ever be tried.