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Italians Are Mad at Their Nation’s New “Barbie Venus”

Italians Are Mad at Their Nation’s New “Barbie Venus”

Italians Are Mad at Their Country’s New “Barbie Venus”

Sandro Botticelli’s Venus featured as a modern-day influencer in an Italian tourism marketing campaign (courtesy Italy’s Ministry of Tourism)

The federal government of Italy has launched a brand new €9 million (practically $10 million) marketing campaign that includes the protagonist of Sandro Botticelli’s “The Start of Venus” (c. 1485) as the brand new AI-generated face of Italian tourism. The marketing campaign, which reinvents Venus as a “digital influencer,” has drawn criticism on social media for what some see as a trivializing of Italy and its cultural heritage in an try and enchantment to a up to date viewers. 

In an Instagram account describing her as a “Worldwide Renaissance icon and Italy lover,” the brand new “Barbie Venus” is depicted in a number of movies flaunting a digital facelift and Frankensteined over the slender physique of a designer-wearing, selfie-taking trendy girl. Instagram customers took to the remark part of a number of posts to name the marketing campaign “offensive and cringe-worthy,” with one person (@thatvulcanlady) mincing no phrases of their statement that “the centrifugal drive with which Botticelli is popping in his grave could be sufficient to provide the power to light up the complete nation for years to come back.” 

Critics lament that the portray’s likeness, which as soon as represented magnificence, love, and hope, is now a grotesque caricature used to use Italian tradition at the price of its dignity — or within the phrases of Livia Garomersini, artwork historian and activist of Mi Riconosci, “a narration that trivializes our heritage in probably the most vulgar approach, remodeling Botticelli’s Venus in one more stereotyped feminine magnificence.”

“Given the problem of the improper use of artistic endeavors and copyright is raging nowadays, one wonders concerning the place of the Uffizi Galleries on the matter,” Garomersini continued. It’s unclear whether or not the Uffizi Gallery in Florence consented to the portray’s appropriation by the Italian Tourism Ministry. (The Uffizi Galleries declined to remark.)

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Nonetheless from a promotional video that includes inventory footage from a Slovenian wine cellar (picture by way of Italian Ministry of Tourism)

In maybe probably the most controversial improvement, the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported that one video on Venus the Influencer’s Instagram options inventory footage of individuals consuming Slovenian wine in a Slovenian wine cellar. In mild of this context, the hefty €9 million (~$9,907,740) price range looks as if it might have been put to higher use. 

The marketing campaign just isn’t faring any higher with official audiences. “We’re combating in opposition to business exploitation that ridicules our creative jewels, just like the aprons displaying the statue of David’s non-public elements or grotesque reproductions of artistic endeavors in silly poses,” mentioned Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence.

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