G7 culture ministers gather in Florence

Culture ministers from the Group of Seven (G7) industrialised countries gathered in Florence on Thursday for two days of talks aimed at "putting cultural diplomacy on the agenda."

G7 culture ministers gather in Florence
The first meeting of its kind for the G7 grouping was the brainchild of Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The first meeting of its kind for the G7 grouping was the brainchild of Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini.

“Because of the importance of our own heritage, Italy has a leadership role in issues of culture,” he said ahead of the talks.

“We want to translate this strength into action at the international level by putting the idea of cultural diplomacy onto countries' agenda.”

He added that the recent damage inflicted on Roman-era monuments in the Syrian city of Palmyra had raised public awareness of the importance of the issue.

Specifically, Franceschini said the meeting would focus on the protection of cultural heritage, combatting trafficking of artistic and historic items and using culture as an instrument for dialogue.

It is part of the preparations for a summit of the leaders of G7 countries – Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – in Sicily at the end of May.


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.