16th-century painting declared ‘bawdy’ by Turkish university
ISTANBULStudents at Istanbul University’s Art History Department have elicited administrative disapproval after a 16th century Italian work they selected for an event poster was deemed “bawdy” by authorities.
“What is this? Cover it up this way or that way!” the faculty’s secretary-general, Aliye Yücel, reportedly said after seeing Tiziano Vecellio’s “Amor Sacro e Amor Profano” (Sacred and Profane Love), which the students wanted to use on a poster for a panel on the history of beauty.
“This news should not be run. I will talk to them,” Yücel said when asked to comment on the matter by Hürriyet Campus, adding that she would refuse to speak further on the issue.
Members of the History of Art Collective decried what they call censorship on the part of the university, while saying they would now produce a “censorship design” for the event.
“As the history of Art Collective, we try to organize various activities. Of course we face difficulties in every activity, like failing to find amphitheaters or a hall. But recently, we have faced censorship for the poster of our seminar. We were told that the poster would not be approved by the secretary if we didn’t change it, in other words, ‘If we don’t censor it.’ Against this attitude, we came together with the participation of academics and will make a censorship design. We await your ideas.”
Tiziano’s painting is in the Galleria Borghese collection in Rome.