London transport officials had banned a poster showing a classic nude painting of Venus on the Underground train system, because it might offend travellers.
The poster was part of an advertising campaign for the Royal Academy for a forthcoming show on the 16th century German painter and printmaker, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
But now ...
Link to original poster Venus allowed to descend into the underworld
Saturday February 16, 2008
Venus, wearing nothing but a triumphant smirk, will after all descend to the underworld. London Transport has relented and agreed to display the striking poster of a 500-year-old painting by the German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, advertising an exhibition at the Royal Academy.
A spokesman admitted yesterday: "On reflection, given its context, the Cranach exhibition poster should not have been rejected and we have now approved the ad to be carried on the tube."
At the academy, spokeswoman Jennifer Francis welcomed the decision and pointed out that the contentious image has already been used in the title sequence of the American TV series Desperate Housewives.
The poster had fallen foul of a tube guideline against depicting "men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an overtly sexual context".
News that London Transport had banned a work of art - albeit by an artist renowned for a slightly creepy sensuality - went round the world, and forced a review. Other arts organisations have reported their own problems with both the guidelines and CBS Outdoor which vets advertising for London Underground.
"Our agencies review thousands of advertisements every year," the London Transport spokesman said. "Only a tiny proportion give rise to issues. We won't get it right every time."
A Sadler's Wells poster for Insane in the Brain, a dance version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was also reprieved. It shows a dancer with his modesty preserved only by a large red cuckoo clock, and was first turned down not just for nudity but because the graffiti style graphics might encourage further contributions.
- some here might be very sensitive, too :wink: