I always thought Europe wasn’t petty like the United States when it came to nudity and sexuality, but apparently they are. The home of the Roman Catholic Church is fining dealers as much as $700 USD who sell novelty items such as Leaning Tower of Pisa penises and aprons featuring the fully nude David by Michelangelo. Per MSNBC.com, Mayor Marco Filippeschi considers the souvenirs trashy and not representative of Italy–so apparently he thinks it’s worth it to kill the commerce of the small business guy on the street in an ailing world economy because of dick.
While I can see some fuss over a “leaning penis” how is a great piece of artwork like Michelangelo’s David offensive? It’s why Americans go to Europe, to see classic artwork–and I’d say almost 80 percent of it features nude men and women! Let the market decide if tourists want to buy such items. BTW: The Leaning Tower of Pisa is definitely phallic, how could you not be reminded of a an erect penis–get a sense of humor!
One of my best experiences as a 13-year-old was when I visited The Louvre and I was overwhelmed by the size and magnitude of the paintings (pictures in books don’t do them justice), but there was definitely nudity. It didn’t bother me and quite honestly it didn’t turn me on. It was simply beautiful. The nudity had context and I suppose if we are to be offended by anything it would be commercialism of classical art since it turns it into something less than spiritual, but let’s be consistent. It’s not the nudity, it’s the commercial distribution. That means if you don’t like naked Davids on aprons then let’s not sell cheap poster reproductions of Italian Masters on postcards and T-shirts.
Now the beaches of Nice (with an accent mark) in France–that turned me on (topless as far as the eye could see)!
It’s not surprising to read that The Catholic Church is also pushing for a ban on so-called “trashy” souvenirs. Prudish Popes and religious leaders of the past chipped off dicks in favor of fig leaves. There is a long history of guilt over nudity and sex even as the church funded works like The Sistine Chapel with a nude Adam. The good mayor needs to focus his attention on more important things.
SIDENOTE: I found an older article where even topless sunbathing in France may be in danger. Oh my, what is this world coming to?