The Brothers of Italy (Fratelli d’Italia) party published Oliviero Toscani’s photograph on its Twitter account on Sunday, in response to a court last week allowing a lesbian couple to adopt a child.
Gay adoption is illegal in Italy, but in a legal first the court ruled the female partner of the girl’s mother could adopt the five-year-old.
The photo used by the political party shows two gay couples holding a baby between them, which was captioned: “A baby is not a whim - no to gay adoption.”
Toscani slammed the far-right party not only for using his photograph without permission, but for its political aim. The photographer said in a tweet that he would press charges.
The political party deleted the photograph and in a statement said that the photograph - which appears on Toscani’s website - had been taken from the internet and thought to be free from copyright.
“We apologize for what happened because we respect the author’s right,” Federico Mollicone, the party's press spokesman, was quoted by Rai News as saying.
When contacted by The Local on Monday, Mollicone was not available to comment.
Toscani, whose portfolio includes campaigns for fashion house Benetton, said the party’s use of the photo went against its original aim.
“The photo was used in the opposite way...there were editorial photos to explain the various possibilities of a family for a French newspaper. They instead used the photos in an ignorant way, like they are,” he told Ansa.