Demure panels cloaked Venus for the Iranian presidential Rome visit

Italy’s decision to cover up a host of ancient nude statues in Rome to avoid offending Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s sensibilities was caustically attacked at home. One critic said it had been taken by “ignorant goats,” another, “Respect for other cultures cannot and must not result in the negation of our culture,” Not only was the life-sized statue of Venus emerging from a bath boxed, but so was the 2nd century bronze statue of Emperor Marcus Aurelius on horseback, because “the horse’s genitals were clearly visible.” However, the 120-man delegation of Iranian business leaders and officials signed deals worth $26 bn with Italian firms, including energy companies. Wednesday, the group heads to Paris to sign a 20bn deal to buy Airbus aircraft.


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