Art Restorers Accused of Wiping Out Fresco Penises

'Fertility Tree' not so fertile any more

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 22, 2011 4:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – What a bunch of weenies. A group of Italian restorers has been accused of scrubbing away several phallic symbols in a refurbished fresco. Some 25 penises and testicles appear to have gone missing from the medieval Tree of Fertility art work, reports the Telegraph. "Many parts of the work seem to have been arbitrarily repainted," said a local politician who has called for an investigation. "The authenticity of the fresco seems to have been compromised by a restoration effort that did not respect the original character of the work."

Restorers, however, deny the charge, saying the painting merely appears very different because it had so badly deteriorated. The fresco features a tree festooned with penises and testicles—at least it used to—over a group of nine women, one of whom appears to be attempting to snag a penis with a hook.

Fresco in the cloister of Santi Quattro Coronati monastery ... but not the one in question.
Fresco in the cloister of Santi Quattro Coronati monastery ... but not the one in question.   (Getty Images)
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