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Officials at the Palazzo Strozzi in Florence have re-posted on Instagram a painting of a female nude by the Russian artist Natalia Goncharova days after the social media platform withdrew a video featuring the early 20th-century image.

The painting, A Model (Against a Blue Background, 1910), will be shown in an exhibition due to open at the Italian museum later this month (28 September-12 January 2020). The controversial work is currently on display at Tate Modern in London, which is hosting the Goncharova survey (until 8 September).

Arturo Galansino, the director of Palazzo Strozzi, says that Instagram initially deleted the post last week. “There was the normal practice of deleting the post with a general message [from Instagram],” he tells The Art Newspaper. “But we have tried again—this time it has worked!” A spokeswoman for the museum says that Instagram has since approved the publication of the image.

The row sparked debate once again about social media platforms stance on female nudity in art. Instagram, and its parent company Facebook, both ban photographic representations of the naked body, although last year the social media giant revised its policy to allow artistic nudity in sculpture and painting. Meanwhile, an increasing number of artists are having their Instagram posts deleted or accounts suspended.

Galansino says: “The risk is that we start using social media differently and less freely than we do today. Instagram is a powerful tool of communication, but its also a useful source of information for people interested in arts and culture. Art must not be censored.”

The Italian art critic Francesco Bonami also heavily criticised the move, writing in the newspaper La Repubblica: “If the algorithm, and this artificial idiot, Read More – Source