19 November 2010.
In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi‘s party bans miniskirts … Berlusconi himself censors women’s breasts on eighteenth century art.
However, when a penis of the Roman god of war is the issue, Berlusconi acts completely differently.
From Allvoices.com today:
New Penis For Silvio Berlusconi
Silvio Berlusconi has bought a new penis. Berlusconi’s new penis cost Italian taxpayers 70,000 euros and is magnetic to enable quick removal if it needs changing again.
The penis has been fitted to [a] marble Roman statue in Mr Berlusconi’s office, in the Palazzo Chigi, central Rome. The statue is of the god Mars and Mr Berlusconi did not like the look of the statue’s original penis so he ordered it to be snapped off and replaced. “This is aesthetic surgery carried out on the personal whim of the prime minister,” said Manuela Ghizzoni of the opposition Democratic Party.
The statue dates from around AD175 and stands alongside a statue of Venus, who must be perplexed at the changing status and shape of her neighbour’s private parts. The Italian public are said to be a little perplexed themselves, wondering perhaps how their prime minister can use public money for a new marble penis when Pompei is crumbling and he has applied swingeing cuts to arts and heritage budgets.
Across the years many penises have been chiseled off Roman nude statues often as souvenirs.
See also here.
Translated from Dutch daily Het Parool:
According to art historians, the restoration has not been performed according to the rules that apply to classical art objects, as the newspaper La Repubblica reported Thursday. The marble sculptures are not even owned by Palazzo Chigi, but borrowed from a museum.
Belgian artist discovers 16th century stone penises: here.
Reblogged this on Basil Wheel.
Administrator on November 19, 2010 at 11:52 am said:
Strike shuts major Italian museums over planned funding cuts
The majority of Italy’s main cultural attractions shut November 12 due to a one-day strike over government plans to cut their funding. Hundreds of museums, art galleries and heritage sites were affected. Those not fully closed had restricted hours.
The Italian government wants to cut €280 million from the culture budget over the next three years as part of its austerity programme.
The recent collapse of the House of the Gladiators at a 2,000-year-old site in Pompeii led to calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Sandro Bondi and raised questions over Italy’s ability to maintain its heritage.
The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy reported that critics blamed a lack of money for maintenance and say this proves Italy’s cultural investment should rise, not fall. Italian heritage experts warn that many other monuments, including Bologna’s twin towers, Florence’s Cathedral and Nero’s Golden House in Rome, are vulnerable to collapse.
Alessandra Mottola Molfino, head of the heritage charity Our Italy, recently told the AFP news agency, “With no maintenance and nonexistent funds, the whole of Italy is at risk of collapsing.”
Italy has more World Heritage Sites than any other country.
Administrator on November 19, 2010 at 11:54 am said:
Foreign workers end two-week crane protest in northern Italy
Four foreign workers have ended a two-week protest atop a 35-metre crane in the northern Italian city of Brescia to demand residency permits. The migrant workers were greeted with cheers when they climbed down from the construction crane after negotiations involving lawyers, local church officials, union leaders and police.
The workers are from Pakistan, Morocco and Egypt. They say residency permits have become impossible to obtain since a law made being an “illegal immigrant” a crime, even for migrants who have been working in Italy for years.
The law requires would-be migrant workers to have jobs waiting for them in order to receive a residence permit. Immigrant workers who lose their jobs immediately forfeit their residency permits under the legislation.The crane protesters claim a government amnesty granting residency permits to illegal immigrant domestic workers discriminates against other categories of migrant workers.
The Brescia protesters survived their 16-day protest on the crane by sleeping in shifts and by receiving food hoisted up to them by supporters on the ground. Three foreign workers were continuing a protest November 16 atop a tower in the northern city of Milan, which they began on November 5.
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