MILAN — An ancient Roman statue has triggered a gender uproar in Italy after pictures of it were published in a newspaper showing the statue alongside scantily-clad women.
Local media say the statue of a kneeling, seated “nun,” which was unveiled last year, is held up by two naked models in plaster.
The statue was apparently discovered in the salt mine near Naples, in eastern Italy, and revived this year. It was recently photographed by Italian photographer Alberto Teixeira, who has previously photographed both nude and historical statues.
“I am a photographer who loves to take people in different situations,” Teixeira said, “the image has stirred the debate but not everything is to my liking.”
“The huge construction taking place near the museum,” he added, “is an unsuitable metaphor, even a public health hazard.”
The Herculaneum Museum said in a statement that Teixeira was considered a “top contemporary photographer” who had great respect for the Herculaneum Museum.
“I respect the concept of history,” said Teixeira, “but I must continue on that line, not send Rome the wrong signal.”