Qatar to Greece: Take Back Your Naked Statues

'Anatomically challenging' artworks pulled from exhibition
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2013 2:58 AM CDT
Updated May 4, 2013 7:06 AM CDT
Qatar to Greece: Take Your Naked Statues Back
No nudes please, we're Qatari.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

A pair of stone penises have gotten in the way of a museum exhibition billed as a "bridge of friendship" between Qatar and Greece. Two statues of nude male athletes were among 600 Greek archaeological treasures on loan to Qatar for an Olympic-themed exhibition, but Greece's culture minister kicked up a fuss when he visited the Gulf nation and found the statues' private parts covered up, the Guardian reports.

Officials in Qatar said the statues were covered up to avoid offending female visitors, but the culture minister said he "couldn't accept the antiquities not being exhibited in their natural state," a Greek official says. "They were great works of art and aesthetically it was wrong." After the two sides failed to reach agreement, Qatar returned the offending statues to Greece. The exhibition has gone ahead with the remaining artworks—including some statues of bare-breasted women that Qatari officials don't seem to mind, the International Business Times notes. (More Qatar stories.)

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