Facebook Blocks Classical Painting of Crucified Jesus for Being Too ‘Indecent’

Facebook has blocked several posts of paintings by Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens, including one of a bare-chested crucified Jesus Christ, apparently for being too “indecent.”

The Flemish tourist board, Toerisme Vlaanderen, wrote an open letter to Facebook’s Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, criticizing the social media giant’s policy of taking down artistic images of semi and full nudity, after several of its posts in a promotional series were taken down.

The open letter, shared on Sunday, explained: “Indecent. This the word used to describe the breast, buttocks and cherubs of Peter Paul Rubens. Not by us, but by you. The bare breasts and buttocks painted by our artists are considered by you to be inappropriate. We have noticed that Facebook consistently rejects works of art by our beloved Peter Paul Rubens.”

It continues: “Even though we secretly have to laugh about it, your cultural censorship is making life rather difficult for us. After all, we want to use your platform to promote both our Flemish Masters, as well as Flanders as the perfect place to discover their works of art. Because art lovers use Facebook too. And because you have made it possible for us to reach out to art-lovers on different continents.”

On Saturday, the tourist board also uploaded on YouTube a humorous sketch video that depicts “social media police” protecting people from viewing displays of Rubens’ paintings, claiming they are doing it for people’s own good.

“We have to protect you against nudity, even if it’s artistic in nature,” one of the Facebook inspectors says in the video.

The Daily Mail and other reports noted that one of the paintings Facebook has blocked is Rubens’ The Descent from the Cross, which depicts a crucified Christ, almost fully naked, being taken down from the cross.

Facebook has since agreed to meet with the tourist board to discuss the issue.

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Source: Christian Post