‘Submission’ to Islam: Critics Slam Cover-Up of Rome’s Nude Statues for Iran’s President

The challenges in finding a balance in protocol.

Personally, while serving halal food is one thing, a more balanced approach would be to pick another venue without the statues and make wine optional rather than automatically served.

And Iranians sometimes show more flexibility than expected. While working in Tehran in the late 80s, I was sometimes offered food and tea during Ramadan given that the obligation to fast did not apply to me as a non-Muslim:

Italian opposition politicians have lashed out at a decision to cover up classical statues ahead of a visit by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani to a world-famous Roman museum, for fear of offending his Muslim sensibilities.

Nude statues among the historical collections at the Capitoline Museums were hidden behind large white panels when Rouhani visited on Monday for a meeting with Prime Minister Matteo] Renzi. The museum said the prime minister’s office requested the cover-up.

Italian media also reported that no wine was served during an official dinner for Rouhani.

“The level of cultural subordination of Renzi and the left has exceeded all limits of decency,” declared right-wing politician Giorgia Meloni, who served as Youth Minister in a previous Silvio Berlusconi cabinet.

Writing on her Facebook account, she wondered what Italy could expect next – the covering of St. Peter’s Basilica “with a huge box” when the emir of Qatar visits next week?

Rouhani’s European tour, his first since the lifting of sanctions under the nuclear deal, promises to open up billions of dollars in business deals, including a major order for Airbus aircraft. At a ceremony held in the Capitoline Museums on Monday, Rouhani and Renzi oversaw the signing of contracts worth up to $18.3 billion.

“Renzi was clearly keen to avoid offending his new business partner,” the Italian news site The Local commented of the statue cover-up.

The Dying Gaul, one of the historical statues at Rome’s Capitoline Museums. (Photo: Musei Capitoli)

A lawmaker in Berlusconi’s Forza Italia party, Luca Squeri, described the concealing of the historical statues as “a sign of excessive zeal.”

“Respect for other cultures cannot and must not equal the negation of ours. This is not respect, it is the cancellation of differences or, worse still, submission,” the ANSA news agency quoted him as saying.

Source: ‘Submission’ to Islam: Critics Slam Cover-Up of Rome’s Nude Statues for Iran’s President

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: