Sunday 11 December 2016

Iran 'did not request' for Rome's naked statues to be covered up for President's visit

Published 27/01/2016 | 10:36

Michelangelo's statue of David. (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)
Michelangelo's statue of David. (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

Iran did not make any specific requests for Rome museum officials to cover up naked statues, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has said.

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Mr Rouhani laughed when asked at the end of a three-day visit to Italy about the statue cover-up, which made headlines in Italy and around the world.

Some Italian politicians decried the "cultural submission" implied in Italy's gesture.

Mr Rouhani said Iran made no specific request for the cover-up, saying there were "no contacts about this" from the Iranian side.

But he added: "I know that Italians are a very hospitable people, a people who try to do the most to put their guests at ease and I thank you for this."

Ahead of a joint news conference with Italian premier Matteo Renzi on Monday, wooden panels were erected around some Roman-era statues in Rome's Capitoline Museums.

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