Is nudity in art offensive? According to the Edinburgh airport…. maybe. The Edinburgh airport decided to censor a nude Picasso painting after several people complained about the offensive material. But after a quick discussion with common sense the “Nude Woman in a Red Armchair” was uncovered.
The BBC reports that the nude Picasso painting greeted passengers in international departures as part of an advertisement for the Modern British Art exhibition at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The painting was briefly censored after several people complained about the nudity.
John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, called the censorship bizarre, pointing out that advertisements frequently use sexy women in lingerie.
“It is obviously bizarre that all kinds of images of women in various states of dress and undress can be used in contemporary advertising without comment, but somehow a painted nude by one of the world’s most famous artists is found to be disturbing and has to be removed. I hope that the public will come and see the real thing, which is a joyous and affectionate portrait of one of Picasso’s favorite models, an image that has been shown around the world.”
A spokesman for the airport said that the decision to censor the painting came after several passengers complained about the artwork. The spokesperson said that the airport always takes customer complaints seriously but may have over-reacted about the nudity in the Picasso painting.
An Edinburgh Airport spokesperson said:
“We have now reviewed our original decision and reinstated the image. The initial decision was a reaction to passenger feedback, which we do always take seriously. However on reflection we are more than happy to display the image in the terminal and we’d like to apologize, particularly to the exhibition organisers, for the confusion.”
Do you think this painting is offensive? Should artwork containing nudity be allowed in public places?