BEIRUT

Culture

Edinburgh Airport red-faced over Picasso nude

An employee poses alongside Picasso’s “risque” 1932 painting “Nude Woman in a Red Armchair.”

LONDON: Edinburgh Airport was forced Wednesday to backtrack on its decision to cover a poster of a famous Picasso nude, which some passengers had deemed too risque.

The poster hanging at the airport’s terminal, featuring the Spanish master’s curvaceous “Nude Woman In a Red Armchair,” was promoting an exhibition at the Scottish Museum of Modern Art.

The airport covered it with white vinyl Tuesday after saying it had received some complaints from passengers. It was forced to put it back on display a day later after the move sparked online criticism and was branded “bizarre” by the gallery.

“All kinds of images of women in various states of dress and undress can be used in contemporary advertising without comment,” said John Leighton, head of the National Galleries of Scotland.

“But somehow a painted nude by one of the world’s most famous artists is found to be disturbing and has to be removed.”

An airport spokeswoman said the initial decision to cover the poster was “a reaction to passenger feedback, which we do always take seriously ... On reflection, we are more than happy to display the image in the terminal and we’d like to apologize – particularly to the exhibition organizers – for the confusion.”

“Picasso and Modern British Art” displays at the Scottish Museum of Modern Art until Nov. 4.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 10, 2012, on page 16.

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