Japanese Residents Call For Replica Of Michelangelo's Nude 'David' To Be Covered Up

02/08/2013 09:53 am ET

Put some pants on, David!

Modest residents in the Japanese town of Okuizumo are none too pleased with two additions to Minari Sports Park. Replicas of Michelangelo's David and the ancient Greek sculpture Venus de Milo, erected in the public park, have some locals demanding that the all-too-revealing statues be covered up, according to local reports.

Michelangelo's David, sculpted in the early 1500s, depicts a completely nude male, while Venus de Milo features a topless woman.

Concerned with the statues' location in the athletics park, which contains a playground frequented by young children, several residents are asking that town officials "please put underwear [on David]," Japanese newspaper the Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

Although the large sculptures were placed in the park in August, residents did not speak out against the revealing artwork until recently, the Agence France-Presse reports.

"Some people have told the town's legislators that toddlers are afraid of the statues because they are so big and they appeared unexpectedly over the summer," town official Yoji Morinaga told the AFP. "They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area."

Donated by Kazuo Wakatsuki, a former president of a local construction company, the replicas of the famous sculptures are similar in size to the originals, with the David copy measuring 16 feet high. Town officials plan to keep the statues as-is, hoping that residents will eventually grow to accept the celebrated artwork.

Censorship of nudity in art is by no means a new debate. As recently as October, Austria's Leopold Museum was forced to cover up the intimate areas of nude posters the museum placed around Vienna to promote its "Nude Men" exhibit.

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