Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Iran's Rouhani Visits Italy; Religious Protocol Among Economic Talks

As reported by Al Jazeera, on Monday Iran's President Hassan Rouhani arrived in Italy to begin a four-day European trip that will also take him to France. The trip focuses mainly on renewing economic ties. International Business Times reports that some Italians are angered at their government's handling of Rouhani's tour of a famous Rome museum:
Rouhani toured the Musei Capitolini (Capitoline Museums) – which hosts a huge collection of artefacts from the ancient, medieval and renaissance periods – accompanied by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on 25 January.
However, the Iranian leader could not admire some of the museum's masterpieces, as all marbles depicting naked scenes had been carefully hid behind large white panels.
The vast censorship effort was reportedly implemented as a show of respect to the reformist president, out of fears that the exposed private parts of ancient Roman gods could offend Iranian sensitivity. Wine was also banned from official receptions.
VIS reports that Rouhani also met in the Vatican with Pope Francis:
During the cordial discussions, common spiritual values emerged and reference was made to the good state of relations between the Holy See and the Islamic Republic of Iran, the life of the Church in the country and the action of the Holy See to favour the promotion of the dignity of the human person and religious freedom.