Facebook rejects museum ads showing Picasso nudes

15 August 2018
A Montreal museum's social media ads featuring Pablo Picasso masterpieces were rejected by Facebook because of the site's nudity policy.
Photo: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Women at Their Toilette, Cannes, January 4, 1956, oil on canvas. Musée national Picasso-Paris, gift in lieu Pablo Picasso, 1979. © Estate of Picasso / SODRAC (2018). Photo © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY / Mathieu Rabeau (courtesy Montreal Museum of Fine Arts).


The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada had its advertisements featuring Pablo Picasso nude paintings rejected by Facebook because of the social media giant’s nudity policy, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported on 2 August 2018.

In May, the museum tried to use Picasso’s 1956 painting Femmes a la Toilette (Women at Their Toilette), which features two nude women, to advertise its summer show called From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present.

The ad was automatically rejected so the museum tried two other abstract Picasso images, but they were also rejected for containing nudity.

Museum spokeswoman Pascale Chasse told CTV Montreal they contacted Facebook to sort it out.

“This is fine art,” Chasse said. “They look at it as it was like a bad ad about sexuality or nudity with bad taste. They don’t know the difference between that and an art of work.”

Facebook agreed to allow the ad and said it is reviewing its advertising policies to ensure museums can share their iconic paintings.

It’s not the first time Facebook has censored nude artworks.

In February 2016, Australian artist Illma Gore had her Facebook account temporarily suspended after she shared a nude drawing of Donald Trump to a private group on the social media site. Read more about her story here.

In 2011, a French teacher allegedly had his Facebook account suspended hours after posting a photo of Gustave Courbet’s famous painting l’Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), which shows a close-up of a woman’s genitals.

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