Silly news outlets censor nude portrait that sold for $170.4 million

Modigliani's "Nu Couché"

There’s a “war on art” being waged by the American media, some are saying after several news outlets — both television and print — censored the breasts and genitals of the woman depicted in Amedeo Modigliani’s “Nu Couché” when images of the painting were shown on screen or on newspaper pages. The nude masterpiece sold at auction for $170.4 million (to a former taxi driver-turned-billionaire who reportedly paid for the painting with his credit card), the second highest total a painting has ever sold for at auction. In fact, the only painting to have sold for more at auction, Pablo Picasso’s “Women of Algiers (Version O),” was also censored by a Fox TV station — it features naked breasts — when its record-setting sale occurred in May.

Some of the prudish offenders in the U.S. who just couldn’t bear to show their audiences a nearly 100-year-old painting of a woman’s naked body were Bloomberg News and CNBC. Other international publishers, like the Financial Times, are barred from printing and distributing nude images in some countries, depending on local laws. A spokesperson for the Financial Times told Women in the World that “Nu Couché” was displayed uncensored in most of its editions. Reactions on Twitter accused the media organizations of launching a “war on art” and scoffed at the notion of likening a renowned artist to a “pornographer,” as Maxim pointed out. Usually this sort of melodrama over the sight of nipples breaks out on Instagram, but sometimes more traditional media get in on the action too, clearly.

Read the full story at Maxim.

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