Italians aroused by nudes from Oz

THE removal of nude paintings by Cawongla artist Lina Eve from the gallery in which they were being exhibited in Positano, Italy, has caused a stir locally and overseas.

In the Northern Star Weekender of September 11 we reported that Ms Eve had been sharing the exhibition, called Creatures of the Wild, with her Italian painter friend Gianni Menichetti.

The pictures were in a gallery in a hotel in the coastal tourist town of Positano. The exhibition was hung, but the next day the owners of the hotel called Lina's paintings ‘obscene' and took them down.

Three days later Menichetti, discovering what had happened, removed his paintings in solidarity and closed the exhibition, calling the incident ‘absolutely unacceptable'.

Lina Eve said Italy was world famous for its amazing art, including such works as Michelangelo's statue of David and the lovely nudes of Titian, Modigliani and Botticelli.

“It was the curator of the gallery who pursued Gianni for an exhibition,” she said.

“She helped him hang our work, so was fully aware of my nudes.

“Some of her family members were offended and pulled the nudes from the walls. When Gianni was taking the exhibition down in protest, the curator reminded him I had offered her a nude print (in appreciation for the show).

“She now wanted it, and Gianni, who is a lot more generous than I would have been at that point, gave it to her.

“I guess she'll have to hang it in her cupboard where it won't offend anyone.”

Last week Northern Star reader David Reeve, of Ballina, contacted the newspaper.

"I read the article about Lina Eve,” he wrote.

“You invited feedback and I just wanted to say that I was bemused, to say the least, at the action taken to withdraw three of her nudes for censorship purposes. It defies all logic and common sensibility.

“Of the three paintings, there were two breasts in total and no genitalia; not even a wisp of pubic hair. I thought they were beautiful and I hope she receives much publicity and it reflects in the demand for her work.”

Mr Reeve ended by congratulating Lina Eve.

“Well, there's nothing like a bit of infamy to spice up one's life!” Ms Eve said.

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