Half-naked warrior statue covered with sheet for Islamic conference in Italy

The covering up of a marble statue of a muscular, half-naked Greek warrior for a conference on Islam in Italy has drawn accusations of overly-zealous cultural censorship.

The reclining statue of Epaminondas, a fourth century BC general who fought for the liberation of the Greek city-state of Thebes, was draped in a red satin sheet to spare the sensibilities of Muslim delegates.

Conservative politicians seized on the case, claiming it was an example of Italy going too far to accommodate the feelings of immigrant communities….

The statue is on display in a theatre in the town of Cairo Montenotte, in the northwestern region of Liguria.

A red sheet was draped over it at the weekend for a conference organised by the Islamic Confederation of Italy and the Islamic Federation of Liguria, even though in its original state, a cloth carved from marble covers the general’s genital area.

Organisers denied that religious sensibilities were behind the decision to obscure the figure’s nether regions.

“I covered the statue but only for ceremonial reasons and just for a few hours,” said Chams Eddine Lahcen, the head of the Islamic Federation of Liguria.

He said it “clashed with the setting” of the conference, which was focused on inter-religious dialogue and was designed to “bring everyone together”….

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