Berlusconi Hides Nipple of Truth

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi likes the painting to the right, a Giambattista Tiepolo work called "La Verità Svelata dal Tempo." (The Truth Unveiled by Time.) He likes it so much that he gives news conferences with a reproduction of the painting as backdrop. Truth, the young woman, is front and center. She's also showing some nip. So Berlusconi's office painted on some modesty:

"It's a wonderful concept, that the passing of time will show who is right and who is wrong," said Antonio Paolucci, the director of the Vatican Museums. "It's the perfect choice of a message for a government."

It was retouched in recent weeks to cover an exposed breast, which "might have upset the sensitivity of some viewers," Paolo Bonaiuti, the prime minister's spokesman, told the Milan newspaper Corriere della Sera over the weekend.

"That breast, that little nipple, ends up right in the shots that TVs make during press conferences," Bonaiuti said.

Bonaiuti said the touchup had been the "initiative of those who look after the prime minister's image."

Vittorio Sgarbi, a former culture minister in Mr Berlusconi's first government and the country's best known art critic, reacted forcefully to the news. "Mad. They are all mad," he said.

Don't worry, Prime Minister; John Ashcroft has your back. Personally, I think the allegory works better now.

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  1. Now if they had been Nipples of Sin I would have actually been upset.

  2. That’s why you shouldn’t let Kramer take your press conference backdrop picture.

  3. I had the same reaction to this as to Ashcroft’s covering of the statues: If the government wants to censor its own art, I don’t have a problem with it. He won the election, he’s in charge of the backdrop, he can put whatever he wants there.

  4. Sounds like something John Ashcroft would do.

  5. I am not a John Ashcroft fan but the whole covering up the statue thing is a piece of horshit that needs to be put to rest. Note this quote from the linked story

    “Photographers have gone to great lengths in the past to capture the scantily-clad female statue in the background as the Justice Department’s top brass addressed the world’s press.”

    What that is talking about is how photographers would sprawl accross the floor in front of Ashcroft evertime he had a press conference to get Ashcroft in the same frame as the naked statue. Ashcroft finally got tired of these clowns contorting themselves to get the shot and said fuck it just cover up the statues so we can have a normal news conference. I really don’t blame him.

  6. Didn’t the Italians, and the rest of Europe, have a good snicker at America for being “uncultured” whenever Ashcroft or some other fundie had a conniption?

  7. “Didn’t the Italians, and the rest of Europe, have a good snicker at America for being “uncultured” whenever Ashcroft or some other fundie had a conniption?”

    But he never had a coniption. He never had a problem with the statues. His problem was with the dumbass frat boy journalists crawling all over the floor trying to get him and the statue in the same frame. Yeah, that is kind of funny but it is not funny like five times.

  8. Should have put in her in cutoffs. There are literally dozens of us. Etc.

  9. What has become of the Italians? What does Ciccolina have to say about this?

  10. Once again Reason Hit&Run proves itself invaluable for keeping abreast of recent developments at home and abroad.

  11. “If the government wants to censor its own art, I don’t have a problem with it. He won the election, he’s in charge of the backdrop, he can put whatever he wants there.”

    Winning an election doesn’t mean the victor “owns” all governmental assets. They are supposed to keep all that kind of in trust for the people. Covering the breast (Ashcroft) is silly, but in this case it says they “painted” over it, thereby messing it up for any future administration that might think it is OK…

  12. MNG:

    “It looks like two longshoremen fighting over a squirrel.”

  13. but in this case it says they “painted” over it, thereby messing it up for any future administration that might think it is OK…

    He likes it so much that he gives news conferences with a reproduction of the painting as backdrop.

    It’s not like they were defacing the original.

  14. That’s a shame. The Nipple of Truth adds +3 on Personality and +2 on Mercantile. He should really use it while bartering.

  15. The drapes are reported to have been hanging since Monday, drawing to a close the sport of photographers who infamously sprawled on the floor to snap the former Attorney General Edwin Meese holding aloft his report on pornography in front of the female statue.

    So Ashcroft wasn’t the only guy to have to deal with the problem, but he was the only one to take any action to cover up the statue.

    Sounds like another sob story from ole John.

  16. That’s a shame. The Nipple of Truth adds +3 on Personality and +2 on Mercantile. He should really use it while bartering.

    I don’t know what game you’re playing, but in the Forgotten Campaign Promises campaign it only gives you a saving throw against separation of clothing and state attacks.

  17. kinnath,

    My initial reaction is, why should anyone care if there is representation of a human female breast in the shot?

  18. He never had a problem with the statues. His problem was with the dumbass frat boy journalists crawling all over the floor trying to get him and the statue in the same frame.

    God, I hate to defend Ashcroft in any way, but at least he had the taste to simply hang a curtain in front of the statue rather than putting a bikini top on it or something like that.

  19. My understanding has always been that Ashcroft claimed and claims never to have had anything personally to do with StatuteGate.

  20. Junter Klops,

    Oblivion. It’s World of Warcraft, with less idiots.

  21. SugarFree,

    Good game. I got the expansion Shivering Isles, too.

  22. I am aghast that Berlusconi does not have Italian flags festooning the backdrop. How will his subjects know that he loves Italy?

  23. It’s a shame no one has any sense of the integrity of art in the same way as they do writing/music/law.

    Perhaps if someone rewrote portions of Ashcroft’s statements to make them more appealing to the sensitivity of the public he might understand the idea.

  24. It’s a shame no one has any sense of the integrity of art…

    I’m not following. Respecting the integrity of fine art seems to be a pretty common human value. Granted we don’t have any shame about messing with copies of a work of art, as Berlusconi did.

  25. Should have put in her in cutoffs. There are literally dozens of us.

    He’s a f*#!ing nevernude!

  26. Pro Libertate,

    I was a late adopter of the 360 and bought the Game of the Year edition. Shivering Isles and Knights of the Nine included. I just started this weekend, so I’m not very far along. Like it so far.

    [gamer geek]
    Dark Elf under the Atronach sign in a custom class based on the AD&D Ranger
    [/gamer geek]

    I swear I’m married.

  27. Click, click on my name, dear capitalist friends.

  28. Click, click on my name, dear capitalist friends.

    keylogger

  29. Huh? I even looked it up at *sigh* Wiki and don’t know what you mean. Unless you think I’m inviting you to let me spy on you, which is flattering but untrue. Anyway, don’t click on my name if you don’t want to.

  30. What’s Kerry still doing here? I thought she was gonna be gone by August? (Honest question. No snark intended.)

  31. Poor John Ashcroft. Someone cared more about a hot naked stone chick than the bullshit he was spewing. Boohoo.

  32. Re: Ashcroft

    I don’t really care if he covered a statue. What got me is that he supposedly spent a 5 digit sum on the covering.

    Call me crazy, but I’ll bet we could find some pleasant-looking fabric cut to the right size and tastefully drape it (maybe even with a nice cord or something to hold it in place) for less than $1000.

  33. “Juanita | July 26, 2007, 1:58pm | #

    They get all worked up about this guy jackin’ it but nary a peep about prison rape?

    Because rape is an essential part of the punishment experience of prison. Don’t like it, obey the laws.”

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