07/12/2010 09:25 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Playboy Portugal's Jesus Cover: Magazine Cancels Portuguese Edition Following Controversial Spread (PHOTO)

Playboy has shuttered its Portugal edition after a controversial cover and spread featuring a depiction of Jesus Christ among a topless model.

The spread was, according to the Daily Mail, "ostensibly a tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago's The Gospel According to Jesus Christ."

However, the Portuguese subsidiary operating the magazine did not clear the cover with Playboy before publication — a violation of the licensing agreement — and now Playboy is pulling out of Portugal.

Playboy Enterprises VP of Public Relations Theresa Hennessy gave the following statement to the Daily Mail:

We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal. It is a shocking breach of our standards and we would have not allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance. We are in the process of terminating our agreement with the Portuguese publisher.