Austrian museum forced to cover up naked posters
A museum in Austria has been forced to cover up hundreds of male genitalia on posters advertising an exhibition after complaints from outraged Viennese.Residents of the Austrian capital took exception to the large full-frontal photograph of three French football players used to advertise an exhibition on the naked male form at the city's Wiener Leopold Museum.
The three players, wearing nothing but socks and boots, and with a football between their feet, had appeared on 250 billboards across the city.
Complaints flooded in, with some describing the posters as "pathetic" and "pornographic", and one angry local lady even threatening to paint over the offending parts unless action was taken. The museum reported that most of the complaints came from women.
"We don't want to disturb either children or adults, and if it's clearly something people don't want to see then we have to respect that," a museum spokesman told the newspaper Wiener Zeitung.
"But the men are clearly not sexually aroused so we thought it would not cause offence.
"Our aim wasn't to be provocative, and we regret causing any offence," he added.
Featuring French footballers of three different ethnic backgrounds, the picture had originally been used to champion multicultural France, but the Wiener Leopold Museum thought it would make an appropriate advertisement for its exhibition on naked men.
But the posters will soon sport a waste-high oblong of paint to cover the sources of Viennese discontent while any advertisements near schools will be removed.
Despite the furore surrounding the posters the museum said it would retain a massive sculpture of a reclining male nude entitled "Mr Big", which lies outside the museum. A spokesman for the Wiener Leopold said that so far Mr Big had attracted no complaints and instead "was being used much like a children's playground".