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Italian PM's Aides Cover Painting's Exposed Breast


While we're on the topic of Italy and good taste, one final note. The boxed wine controversy pales in comparison to this intriguing political cover-up. If you've ever seen that televised press conference with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, you may have noticed something peculiar looming above his head, a woman's bare breast. It belongs to the subject of Time Unveiling Truth, an 18th-century painting by Venetian master Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. The painting is a reproduction, actually, but that's a breast nonetheless.

Well, a strategically painted layer of clothing has now appeared, covering the offending anatomy. A government spokesman says the cover-up was an initiative of those on the staff of the prime minister who take care of Berlusconi's image. Of course, that image also includes a habit of making sexist remarks in public. And as a media mogul, Berlusconi made a fortune on TV channels that air shows full of women in various stages of undress. And did we mention that his minister of equal opportunities is a former topless model? Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.