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Banksy’s Naples Madonna placed under protection

British street artist Banksy's only known surviving work in Italy - a Naples mural entitled "Madonna with a pistol" - has been placed under a protective cover in the hope of preserving it.

Banksy's Naples Madonna placed under protection
A graffito by Bansky has been placed under a protective cover. Photo: Salvatore Vastano/AFP

The work, possibly a comment on the city's reputation as a bastion of both devout Catholicism and gun crime, is an image of the Madonna with a pistol in a luminous aureola above her head. It has proved a popular attraction for tourists visiting the city.
   
The move to ensure it cannot be destroyed follows a campaign by Banksy fan Alessandro Bello, who had collected 16,500 signatures with a petition calling on the local council to protect the work.
   
Bello was quoted Wednesday as telling local media the protective screen had not been the work of the authorities.
   
“It seems it was not the council but a private individual that did it, but the important thing is the work is now protected,” he said.
   
Another Naples work by Banksy, a Bernini-inspired depiction of a female saint in a state of ecstasy with McDonald's fries and a coke on her lap, was covered in graffiti in 2010.
   
Numerous Banksy works around the world have been vandalized or painted over by rivals of the mysterious artist although this has become rarer as awareness of the value of his works has spread.

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TOURISM

The new guide to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Florence's world-famous galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

The new guide to Florence's Uffizi Galleries - showing only the nudes
Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" is the most famous work included in a controversial new guide to the Uffizi Galleries. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The online guide to the gallieries is produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

Part of the site’s Classic Nudes series of ‘erotic’ guides to some of the world’s most renowned museums, the guide for the Uffizi lists 21 artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and the location of each piece within the galleries.

“The Uffizi Gallery is located in the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence, Italy. So it’s no wonder it has such a large collection of artwork from the era. But what you may find surprising is the sheer volume and variety of naked bodies rendered in paint, bronze and marble in this marvelous museum,” writes Pornhub.

Among the works featured are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and the Roman statue of the Knidian Aphrodite, dating from the 1st Century.

The guide also includes the Venus of Urbino by Titian (1538), which it calls “kinky”, and Painting and Poetry by Francesco Furini (1626), which is described as featuring “two ridiculously hot babes who just so happen to be making out”.

Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Bosses at the Uffizi were not amused at the gallery’s inclusion in Pornhub’s series and have threatened to sue.

Meanwhile in Paris, the Louvre’s management has said only that it is ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay remained silent on the subject.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

The Uffizi does, however, provide a great day out for all the family and contains a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present it is operating with reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.

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