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Moscow City Hall Orders Removal of 'Unethical' Bosch Exhibition Posters

Posters for an exhibition of the paintings of 15th-century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch have been deemed “unethical” and removed by Moscow City Hall, Ekho Moskvy radio reported Wednesday.

The exhibition entitled “Bosch. Revived Visions” is scheduled to open at Artplay Design Center on Saturday. Out of 50 different posters advertising the exhibition, 10 were removed by City Hall, Artplay PR director Natalia Rubina told Govorit Moskva radio. The posters featured scenes from Bosch's triptych, “The Garden of Earthly Delights.”

“The Department [for Media and Advertising] advised us to consult a lawyer, and we were told that the advertisements are unethical,” Rubina said. “One of the characters depicted has flowers in a certain place.”

“Russian advertising legislation has no clear ethical and aesthetic restrictions on what kind of advertising is allowed on the streets and what is not. The question of removing an ad is always subjective,” Masterpiece Production, a communications agency and partner of Artplay, said in a statement, 365 magazine reported.

“It's possible that officials saw the ad as a call to perform sexual acts,” the statement said.

The posters were put up on March 4, and removed a week later, at the request of City Hall. They were replaced the same day with different images, Rubina told the Metro newspaper on Wednesday.

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