Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was in Italy to sign deals worth billions of dollars — a visit aimed at rekindling Iran's ties with Europe after many years of economic sanctions. Rouhani went to Italy on Monday and as a sign of respect for Islamic traditions, Italy covered up a few "racy" exhibits in the Capitoline Museum.
Italian Premier, Matteo Renzi who signed contracts worth $17 billion with Rouhani, according to The Local, was not particularly keen on ruining business over some nudity. Times of Israel reported that all female statues at the Museum's Esedra Hall were covered with four white panels.
Times of Israel also reported that the Italian administration was keen on not offending the Iranian delegation in anyway, so much so that Renzi and Rouhani's "podium was placed not in front of, but next to, the iconic equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, for fear that press and TV cameras would capture the horse’s genitalia behind the two world leaders."
Not everyone felt this way about the 'cover-up', The Guardian reported that Luca Squeri, legislator from Forza Italia party said, "Respect for other cultures cannot and must not mean negating our own...This isn’t respect, it’s cancelling out differences and it’s a kind of surrender."
Italians did not take kindly to this and lashed out Twitter starting hashtags like #CiaoRouhani (Goodbye Rouhani) and #StatueNude.
— Mangino Brioches (@manginobrioches) January 26, 2016
— Gian Luca Stirpe (@GianlucaStirpe) January 26, 2016
... and deliberately posted pictures of statues and sculptures that showed genetalia.
— anna pala (@annapala4) January 26, 2016