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David, Venus replicas scandalise Japanese town

Posted on Feb 08, 02:16PM | IANS

Tokyo, Feb 8 : The pale nakedness of replicas of Michelangelo's David and the Venus de Milo have scandalized some residents of a small Japanese town, who have asked that the intimate parts of the statues be covered to "preserve their modesty".

The sculptures, each 5 meters tall and on public display, were unveiled last summer in the western highland town of Okuizumo and since then they have encountered the opposition of some families who feel that they are not appropriate for children, according to the daily Yomiuri Shimbun.

Even so, an official downplayed the importance of the complaints and told EFE Thursday that the authorities have no intention of covering any portions of the enormous statues.

The works stand in two public parks in the town of about 15,000 residents surrounded by baseball fields, tennis courts and a children's park, a situation that ensures that they are always in view of local youngsters.

Sculpted by Italian Enzo Pasquini, the pair of statues arrived in Okuizumo as a thank-you gift from construction mogul Kazuo Wakatsuki for his hometown. The magnate selected these two immortal works so that local children would "be close to authentic art", the daily reported.

The town's mayor said he expects that with the passage of time, the outraged residents will become accustomed to the two huge sculptures and will come to appreciate their beauty, and in the meantime they will be used for instruction purposes in the local schools' art classes.