Male nude posters plaster Vienna, draw complaints

VIENNA (AP) — Naked men of all sizes and shapes are appearing on Vienna kiosks as a prestigious museum kicks off an exhibit of male nudity.

But outside the exhibition, organizers are being forced into cover-up mode after a storm of complaints that the ad posters are offensive.

In a show titled "Nude Men from 1800 to Today," the Leopold Museum opened its doors Friday to examine how artists have dealt with the theme of male nudity over the centuries.

"Mr. Big" — a four-meter (more than 12-foot) high full-frontal photo mounted on plywood and depicting a naked young man in an indolent sprawl — is set up near the show's entrance, lest there be any doubt what visitors are about to see.

Inside, around 300 art works are on display — including the controversial photograph that is raising the ire of Viennese. Created by French artists Pierre & Gilles, "Vive La France" shows three young, athletic men of different races wearing nothing but blue, white and red socks and soccer shoes.

No visitors were complaining Friday as they filed past that photo and even more graphic examples of male nudity, including some depicted in sex acts.

"I've seen worse on late-night TV," said Franz Steiner, 27, as he left the show.

Not so in the city. Posters of the three men were given impromptu fig-leafs — lines of red tape covering their private parts.

The complaints clearly caught the museum by surprise. Vienna's turn-of-the-century decadence allowed erotic artists such as Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt to flourish, and has turned these days into complacent acceptance of displays of the flesh. Today, lingerie ads are racy and one popular daily paper regularly features pictures of half-naked women.

Vienna's public transport system reacted laconically earlier this week to reports that a young woman on a downtown subway line was dressed in nothing but knee-high boots.

"We know that everyone has a different temperature comfort zone," the agency said in a statement. "But we do not think that our subways are so warm that one has to get undressed."

But there seems to be less tolerance for shows of male nudity. Museum officials say they received a flood of complaints by last week, mostly from outlying districts heavily populated by new immigrants from Muslim countries.

Museum director Tobias Natter says the flap serves to point out "that nobody gets offended by naked women, but with naked men: yes."

A poster near a school was also removed when parents complained.

"I can understand women with children who think that this is too wild, when the kids keep asking questions," said Susanne Eigner, a woman her 20s standing next to a still-uncovered poster.

But other reactions were positive.

"I like that we get to see naked men for a change," said Veronika Kren, as she paused from pushing her bike laden with groceries. "We have to look at naked women all the time and now I find it quite interesting to see something different — and especially the reaction of the men."

The museum is making the most of the controversy. Natter says he hopes the poster will spark lively debate.

"Some people will say, 'What a shame. I want to see what's under that,'" he said about the red tape. "Others will say, 'Let's go the museum. There we can see the original.' And some will say, 'That's good. I don't want to see that in the public space.'

"It's about making people aware."

___

Associated Press video journalist Philipp Jenne contributed.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Caltex Fuels Your Shopping With Robinsons Rewards Card Partnership
    Caltex Fuels Your Shopping With Robinsons Rewards Card Partnership

    Robinsons Rewards Card (RRC) members will enjoy earning more points not only when they shop at their favorite Robinsons stores but also when they fuel up at Caltex. Every five liter gas up earns a point which means that the more customers fuel up at Caltex and shop at Robinsons, the more points for fuel and shopping savings. Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of Caltex fuels and lubricants, teamed up with Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc. (RRHI), the second largest multi-format retailer …

  • Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea
    Philippines hits back at Beijing over South China Sea

    The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …

  • Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt
    Boxing hero Pacquiao is top tax-payer in Philippines: govt

    Boxing hero Manny Pacquiao, who faces his biggest fight against unbeaten American Floyd Mayweather, already holds top spot as the number one taxpayer in the Philippines, government records showed Saturday. A list of top individual tax-payers for 2013, posted on the Bureau of Internal Revenue website, put the boxer-turned-congressman at number one with 163.84 million pesos ($3.72 million) in taxes paid. Internal revenue chief Kim Henares confirmed that Pacquiao topped the list but stressed …

  • Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects
    Phl, Japan sign P9.6-B ODA projects

    The Philippines and Japan have signed agreements for six official development assistance (ODA) projects amounting to 22.289 billion yen or around P9.6 billion. …

  • Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms
    Commission to launch glossary of Pinoy meteorological terms

    The Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (KWF) will release a glossary of meteorological terms in Filipino to help the Filipino people better understand weather forecasts and instill disaster awareness among them. National Artist for Literature and KWF president Virgilio Almario said yesterday the KWF produced the glossary titled Patnubay sa Weder Forkast to simplify scientific terms used in the weather bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration …

  • Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP
    Divorce bill good scapegoat for couples – CBCP

    Contrary to what romance novel writers would want their readers to believe, there are no perfect marriages in the real world. This was according to Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas. In a statement titled “CBCP Position Against the Divorce Bill and Against the Decriminalization of Adultery and Concubinage,” Villegas said that while it is not easy to make relationships last, learning how to work out differences – and …

  • DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa
    DND holds off infra dev’t in Pag-Asa

    The defense department is holding off repairs and other planned infrastructure projects on Pag-Asa Island, one of seven islets and two reefs occupied by Filipino troops in the disputed Spratly Islands. Earlier, Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario pointed out that the maintenance and repair of facilities in Pag-Asa Island are not covered by the Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of parties involved in the West Philippine Sea territorial disputes. “Repair and maintenance is okay but before …

  • Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns
    Blackout to hit 5 Aurora towns

    An 11-hour power outage will hit five towns in Aurora on Tuesday, the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) announced yesterday. The NGCP said Baler, Dingalan, San Luis, Ma. Aurora and Dipaculao would be affected by the blackout. The NGCP said parts of Nueva Ecija and Aurora were hit by a power interruption yesterday due to the tripping of the Cabanatuan-Baler 69kV line. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options