A replica of Michelangelo’s Renaissance masterpiece, the sculpture of David, is apparently disturbing a small Japanese town’s sense of propriety because of the sculpture’s nudity. The replica, a donation of a businessman from the area, is said to be perplexing the townsfolk who are requesting that the statue be given some underpants.
The statues were erected in the town of Okuizumo in western Shimane Prefecture. The five-meter (16-foot) replicas, which also included the famous Greek treasure the Venus de Milo, were put up in a large public park. The park is part of a complex that has a full-size running track, a baseball stadium, tennis courts, a mountain bike course and a play area with apparatus for children.
“Some people have told the town’s legislators that toddlers are afraid of the statues because they are so big and they appeared unexpectedly over the summer,” said town official Yoji Morinaga. “They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children,” he added.
This legal nuance of the Japanese’ definition of obscenity has been in the spotlight recently, as earlier in the week Tokyo-based Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee was arrested for selling books containing pictures of male genitals. The blanket enforcement of the censorship law, they say, leaves little room for artistic expressions or depictions that are not sexually explicit. Pornography on the other hand, while visually depicting sexual acts, is widely available and produced in the country – as long as they obscure by pixellation the genital areas in the images.[ via Channel News Asia ]