Venus has been delighting connoisseurs for almost 500 years - but she has been banned from London Underground, as they decided she is likely to offend rather than enchant the capital's weary commuters.
She was intended as the main poster for the Royal Academy's show on the German artist Lucas Cranach the Elder, noted for his sensuous nudes.
Millions of people travel on the London Underground each day and they have no choice but to view whatever adverts are posted there. We have to take account of the full range of travellers and endeavour not to cause offence in the advertising we
display, a spokesman said. [You just have to know who they are alluding to!]
London Underground advertising is vetted by a firm called CBS Outdoor, and Venus seems to have fallen foul of the guideline that advertising should not depict men, women or children in a sexual manner, or display nude or semi-nude figures in an
overtly sexual context.
London Underground have rejected the advert for Fat Christ , a black comedy starring topless model Abi Titmuss, on the grounds that it was likely to offend ethnic, religious or other major groups.
The poster depicts a portly man on a cross. He is wearing pink striped boxes and a crown of thorns. It was banned from Angel Tube station, where the Upper Street theatre had booked an advertising spot.
The ban has been criticised by the Rev Stephen Coles, of St Thomas's Church in Finsbury Park, according to the Islington Tribune. He is quoted as saying: The itch to censor is something one should resist. I can't quite see how this could cause
offence. We're grown-ups and Jesus can defend himself. One has to be a little wary of indulging the super-sensitive.
Gavin Davis, the author of Fat Christ who also features as the man on the cross, insisted he had not set out to offend: The play is a comedy and the poster accurately reflects its content and themes – the central character stages his own mock
crucifixion for an art project. We don't believe it to be blasphemous and can't understand London Underground's censorious position. I am, however, prepared to apologise for my choice of boxer shorts.
A London Underground spokesman said the Fat Christ poster was “declined” because it contravened a commitment not to display adverts likely to offend ethnic, religious or other major groups: Millions of people travel on the London Underground
each day and they have no choice but to view whatever adverts are posted there. We have to take account of every passenger and endeavour not to cause offence in the advertising we display.
LOver the years, unconventional representations of Christ and far-flung speculations about his true identity have attracted the ire of the devout and the sensitive.
The latest depiction of Jesus to be deemed offensive is the promotional poster for Fat Christ, Gavin Davis’ comedic play, which opened in London last night. The poster was refused advertising spots on the London Underground.
Perhaps suggesting that Jesus suffered from slow metabolism or indulged in fatty food is the ultimate form of blasphemy these days, when obesity is seen as a mortal sin.
There is an exhibition at St Marylebone Church of the work of 20 artists' representations of the Stations of the Cross. Throughout Lent, some of these have been approved by TfL to appear on the London Underground.
But not Antony Micallef's Kill Your Idol , a representation of the first station, where Jesus is condemned to death, this time by an X-Factor style panel of judges.
A spokesperson for TfL said the poster was rejected because it did not comply with the firm's advertising policy. She pointed to a clause that concerns causing widespread or serious offence to members of the public and another referring to
advertisements that do not comply with the law or incite someone to break the law.
It is the view of St Marylebone's Rector, the Reverend Canon Stephen Evans, that this work raises:
Important contemporary questions about the fickleness and shallowness of fame and celebrity, success and failure. About who has the power to say just who is going to be a 'hit' and who a 'miss'.
It is not an image that could cause offence, it's not obscene; it is just a very, very strange decision.
But of course the decision is nothing to do with nuances of offence. It's just that everybody knows that religion and satire simply do not mix, and anything coming anywhere close is simply best avoided for fear of either violence or else a station
load of moaning minnies. It seems that religion these days is not really very welcome in the normal world, it causes far too much trouble in the world.
A poster advertising a satirical play about the Monarchy and, showing Prince Charles gagged, has been censored by London Underground because it fears it could cause offence.
The advert for the critically acclaimed production of King Charles III features a punk-style portrait of the Prince with his mouth covered by white duct tape.
But despite the fact that the poster has been displayed across London since the play opened nearly three weeks ago, a nervous Transport for London has decided to pixelate Charles's face.
There appeared to be confusion over exactly why the poster had been censored. TfL laid the blame on the company that deals with adverts on the Tube:
We work with a company called Exterion Media, which handles our adverts on the Tube network and offers advice. They may say this or that could cause offence. Exterion may have said the poster doesn't fit with part of their policy. The decision was made
without reference to us and does look to have been a little over-enthusiastic. We will speak to them about it.
Adverts for a Jewish play which received five-star reviews in one of the religion's newspapers have been banned from the London Underground
because they could cause offence . Transport for London (TfL) decided that posters of Joshua Harmon's acclaimed production, Bad Jews , should be banned.
The poster for the comedy, which is about a family brought together after the death of their Holocaust-survivor grandfather, shows four characters in a quarrel on the floor.
One complaint was made to the the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) during the play's first campaign, but the advert censor concluded that the poster did not breach rules. However, TfL disagreed with the ASA's ruling and told the Evening Standard it
would not clarify the precise reason for the rejection. A TfL spokesperson said:
The advert, Bad Jews, was previously displayed on our network as our advertising contractor approved it without consulting us. It was subsequently submitted for display again and has been rejected as it contravened our advertising policy, which states
that adverts will not be approved if they may cause widespread or serious offence.
Producer Danny Moar has blasted TfL's decision, saying it seemed like censorship , despite the play winning a five-star review for the Jewish Chronicle. He told the paper:
Half the cast are Jewish, I'm Jewish, the writer is Jewish and the word 'bad' in the title, in so far as it matters, doesn't mean 'evil' -- it means 'non-observant'. This is a form of censorship which is so weird and ironic when, in the wake of the
Charlie Hebdo events, everyone marched against censorship.
Even in their seventies, the Rolling Stones still have the power to get the establishment hot under the collar. A poster for their new museum exhibition has been banned for being supposedly lewd.
The advert has their trademark logo of a cartoon mouth and protruding tongue covering the crotch of a woman's bikini bottom.
While it has already been used across social media, on news websites and by major companies such as Ticketmaster, bosses at Exterion Media, censors that approve posters to appear on the London Underground and at bus stops, insisted the logo be moved up
to the woman's belly button before allowing it to go ahead.
This is despite the advert already being widely used by the band online to promote Exhibitionism , which opens at London's Saatchi Gallery next year.
A spokesman for the band said:
We are dumbfounded and perplexed at this rather silly decision. Perhaps the fact that it's the Rolling Stones and controversy seems to follow them everywhere.