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Facebook blocks museum over nude sculpture photo

05:36 09/08/2021

Facebook has reversed a decision to block the page of Ostend maritime museum Mu.ZEE after it posted a photo of the artist Constant Permeke posing near two nude sculptures.

The museum’s page on Facebook was taken offline, after the photo was posted on 16 July. First, the post was deleted by Facebook and then the entire page was blocked.

"It's a disaster because a lot of our communication is done via Facebook,” spokeswoman Colette Castermans said. “Our page has 16,000 members and we have invested a lot of time in it. Creating a new page is something we would rather avoid."

After receiving major press attention, the page was finally unblocked after two weeks.

"We challenged the closure with Facebook but got no results,” Castermans added. “The attention of the media has undoubtedly accelerated the process of unblocking.

“We will continue to try to get in touch with the social network and will call on other museums to adopt a common position concerning the publication of artistic nudes on social networks.”

Toerisme Vlaanderen had experienced the same problem in 2018 when a promotion for the Rubens Year events was taken offline. Finally, after negotiation, the Flemish tourism promotion agency was authorised to place some artistic nudes advertisements.

Written by Richard Harris