City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Airport Backtracks on Picasso Nude Cover-up

By edg - Posted on 08 August 2012

Picasso poster

The Scottish National Galleries got a nice bit of unexpected publicity and Edinburgh Airport is looking a mite foolish after the airport backtracked on a decision to cover up a Picasso nude.

The nude, Woman in a Red Armchair, features on the poster for the Edinburgh Art Festival exhibition Picasso & Modern British Art, currently on at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

The advertisement, which can be seen in international arrivals at Edinburgh Airport, had apparently caused offence to some travellers.

So the airport covered it up.

John Leighton, director General of the National Galleries of Scotland, is quoted by the BBC, as saying:

"It is obviously bizarre that all kinds of images of women in various states of dress and undress can be used in contemporary advertising without comment, but somehow a painted nude by one of the world's most famous artists is found to be disturbing and has to be removed."

The curvacious portrait is definitely sensuous, but far from graphic (the same might not be said of some of Picasso's work, like some of his later sketches). You can see why the National Galleries had no problem putting it on its poster, and why the airport eventually decided to rehang the advertisement.

An Edinburgh Airport spokesperson tweeted: "Our decision on the Picasso artwork was in response to passenger feedback, however we were happy to rethink and apologise for the confusion."