‘Explicit scenes’ in 3D replicas of famous paintings cause dozens of complaints
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    ‘Explicit scenes’ in 3D replicas of famous paintings cause dozens of complaints

    The exhibition has recently added a warning at the cash register, banning people under the age of 16. Credit: Musea Sculpta

    The Musea Sculpta in Bruges, that is exhibiting 3D replicas of the famous Flemish Primitives paintings, has received dozens of complaints from visitors who believe the scenes are too “explicit.”

    Since 2019, several 3D replicas in plaster of famous paintings have been on display in the Bruges’ Musea Sculpta, but the museum is receiving a lot of complaints, in particular about the ‘Garden of Earthly Delights’, a triptych by the Dutch master Hieronymous Bosch.

    “Since the opening, dozens of visitors have drawn our attention to the fact that the visit is not appropriate for children,” said business manager Alexander Deman, reports Het Nieuwsblad.

    Both the sexual and violent scenes are “too explicit” for children to see, according to many complaints. “A group of Orthodox Americans was so struck by it that after five minutes, and with their hands in front of their faces, they were standing in front of the cash register again. A disgrace, they said. As if we had just presented them with hell,” he said.

    The original painting, which is exhibited in the Prado in Madrid, is 2.8 square metres, the 3D replica covers a total of 365 square metres. “Figures that are details on canvas are shown in life-size. You are forced to face the facts, and cannot just look away from them. Additionally, we are busy colouring in the sculptures, which also emphasises the explicit scenes,” Deman added.

    The exhibition has recently added a warning at the cash register, banning people under the age of 16. “It is not an explicit ban, but it is a warning,” said Deman, who placed a print of the painting in front of the entrance to avoid further discussions. “This way, everyone will know before entering what kind of scenes they can expect,” he said.

    In the Groeningemuseum, also in Bruge, which exhibits the original painting of Bosch’s The Last Judgment, has received no complaints, even though the triptych also shows several horrifying scenes. “Some other paintings we have are also pretty explicit, but I have no knowledge of complaints about them,” said Nico Blontrock, the Alderman for Culture, reports Het Nieuwsblad. “It may indeed have something to do with the size,” he added.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times