Toen ik voor het eerst deze foto zag, dacht ik aan Quentin Crisp, the Englishman in New York. Nu blijkt dat iemand anders model stond voor dit beeld. Eén van de tags waarmee ik deze blog begon was ‘media & democracy’.  Ook dit beeld heeft zijn verhaal.

Vado Retro“—an exhibition with 150 works about art and homosexuality, from Da Goeden to Pierre et Gilles—has been cancelled at Milan’s Palazzo della Ragione. As both the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Der Standard report, the exhibition was already installed when protests were voiced about a “blasphemous” sculpture of the pope made by the Milan artist Paolo Schmidlin. The sculpture, Miss Kitty, features a likeness of the pope dressed in pantyhose.

To calm critics, Vittorio Sgarbi, the city’s councilperson for culture and responsible for the exhibition, had already announced that visitors under the age of eighteen would not be allowed to visit. But the measure was not enough. The opening was delayed after Miss Kitty and two other works were taken out of the exhibition. That measure was also insufficient, at least for Milan mayor Letizia Moratti, who requested that another twelve works be removed, due to their pornographic and pedophiliac nature. Sgarbi refused—a refusal that led to the cancelation.

Sgarbi, while denouncing the city’s censorship, seems to have profited from the scandal. The councillor, who is also an art historian and collector, purchased Miss Kitty for €20,000 ($27,500). The sculpture is now estimated at €100,000 ($137,700). Censored in Milan, “Vado Retro” will be shown in its entirety in Naples.