Unesco covers up genitalia of nude statues with thong and baby's nappy

Unesco apologises for covering up the genitalia of two nude male statues with a thong and a baby’s nappy at a Paris exhibition

  • The UN agency said it was a ‘big mistake’ to cover up the selfie-taking statues
  • They were created by French sculptor Stephane Simon, 45
  • The statues were displayed at the European Heritage Days in September 

Unesco has apologised for covering up the genitalia of two nude statues at a Paris exhibition with a thong and a baby’s nappy.

The UN agency which was created to promote cultural diversity said it was a ‘big mistake’ to cover up the statues.

Some have accused Unesco of trying to censor art, particularly dangerous for an agency encouraging ‘open, inclusive and pluralistic societies’.

The statues were created by French sculptor Stephane Simon, 45, and were displayed at the European Heritage Days in September.

Full frontal: The naked ‘selfie’ statues were created by French sculptor Stephane Simon

Unesco has apologised for covering up the genitalia of two nude statues at a Paris exhibition with a thong and a baby’s nappy

The figures were intended to evoke people taking a selfie.

But, according to The Times, Unesco officials were alarmed by the full-frontal nudity on display.

Law professor Jacques Bouineau compared Unesco to Daniele da Volterra, the Italian painter who tried to cover the backsides in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel.

Bouineau said: ‘And it’s in Paris, the capital of a secular state, in 2019, that a similar censorship is imposed upon an artist. Are we going to have to cover up Michelangelo’s David… or the nude women of Rubens and Ingres?’

The excessive modesty also brings to mind the Catholic Church’s decision to place fig leaves on their statues from Antiquity at the Vatican and, in some extreme cases, chopping off the offending genitalia.

The statues were created by French sculptor Stephane Simon, 45, and were displayed at the European Heritage Days in September

Some have even said Unesco’s covering up makes the exhibition seem like an underwear advertisement.

The agency initially said the sculptor agreed to cover up the genitalia before the arrival of Muslim delegations but he denied this.

Unesco then blamed a ‘stressed’ employee.  

A Unesco spokesman said: ‘We didn’t want to censor the artist, and understand that he felt hurt.’

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