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'Sexualised Body': Woman's Statue in Italy Evokes Outrage Over 'Male Chauvinism'

© RuptlySapri statue
Sapri statue - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.09.2021
A member of the Italian Democratic Party tweeted that the statue is “an offence to women and the history it should celebrate.”
A bronze statue in the town of Sapri in Italy’s Salermo province has sparked accusations of sexism shortly after it was unveiled on Saturday.
According to Sky News, the statue was made by sculptor Emanuele Stifano and depicts a peasant woman clad in a “transparent dress” looking over her left shoulder. It's a tribute to a poem called “La Spigolatrice di Sapri” ("The Gleaner of Sapri") written by Luigi Mercantini in 1857.
The unveiling attracted quite a bit of attention: the media outlet noted that former Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte was seen among a “large group of men” standing around the statue during the event, while a number of women’s rights activists have already urged the authorities to take the statue down.
Laura Boldrini, a Democratic member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, wrote on Twitter that the statue is “an offence to women and the history it should celebrate.”
“But how can even institutions accept the representation of women as a sexualised body?” she inquired, adding: “Male chauvinism is one of the evils of Italy.”
The media outlet notes, however, that Stifano himself defended his creation, declaring that if it was up to him, the statue would have been “completely naked” because he's “a lover of the human body.”
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