Toerisme Vlaanderen in playful protest against artistic censorship on Facebook
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    Toerisme Vlaanderen in playful protest against artistic censorship on Facebook

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Today, Facebook does not seem to be able to tell the difference between art and pornography. Paintings by Flemish Masters are currently being exhibited in the North of Belgium. To help promote them, on Sunday Toerisme Vlaanderen broadcast a playful video that mocks the social network site’s current policy on nudity. 

    In the video, visitors to the Maison de Rubens in Antwerp are not shown paintings by baroque Masters “in the interests of protecting the public against nudity”. 

    A series of Belgian cultural institutions, such as Bozar and Toerisme Vlaanderen, have also written an open letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg. 

    “Breasts, buttocks and Peter Paul Rubens’ Cherubs are all considered indecent. Not by us, but by you”, the letter says. Although this can be seen as humorous, the letter goes on to say this kind of censorship makes it difficult for interested parties to find out more about the Flemish Masters.  

    The Flemish Office has drawn up a plan for 2018-2020. It wants to promote the works of Rubens, Bruegel, Van Eyck and other Flemish painters from the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. 

    “Unfortunately, promoting our unique cultural heritage on the world’s most popular social network is impossible right now”, says Toerisme Vlaanderen CEO Peter De Wilde. 

    Sarah Johansson
    The Brussels Times