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article imageItalian Prime Minister adds a penis to historic Roman statue

By Andrew Moran     Nov 18, 2010 in Politics
Rome - Italian Prime Minister Sivlio Berlusconi is in hot water, once again. Taxpayers are upset at Berlusconi after he spent about $95,000 to attach a penis and two hands in the marble sculpture of "Venus and Mars."
Under specific orders of scandal-laden Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the Roman statue of Mars in the Italian leader’s office got a 70,000 euros ($95,400) restoration plus a penis, according to the London Telegraph.
The penis was attached to the original using a magnetic system. The Roman God of War, Mars, and Goddess of love and beauty, Venus, also received one hand each. The hands and penis are removable.
The statue was on loan from the Terme di Diocleziano museum and is displayed in the entrance of Berlusconi's Palazzo Chigi. It has been reported that the restoration did not meet traditional techniques.
However, the Prime Minister’s architect Mario Catalano made “the decision” and said the restoration was authorized, reports the Guardian. Although taxpayers are upset with the government who has slashed millions from the arts and heritage budget, Catalano said it did “not cost a lira” because it was restored by those employed by the government.
“There are two philosophies of restoration,” said Catalano. “One is just to clean the work and leave it as it is. The other involves making the work whole again, without damaging it, to provide an image of the work as it was originally conceived."
“This is real aesthetic surgery carried out on the personal whim of the prime minister,” said opposition Democratic Party official, Manuela Ghizzoni.
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