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Serial Paris art gallery ‘flasher’ to face trial after exposing herself at Louvre

A woman performance artist who has exposed herself in art galleries around Paris is to be prosecuted for exhibitionism after baring her genitals in front of the Mona Lisa in Paris as she shouted "Mona Lisa, my pussy, my copyright".

Serial Paris art gallery 'flasher' to face trial after exposing herself at Louvre
Screengrab/France2

Deborah de Robertis spread her bare legs before Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece on Sunday in the Louvre museum, shouting “Mona Lisa, my pussy, my copyright” as several dozen tourists looked on. She pulled off a similar stunt in April, which was filmed at shown on France 2 TV channel.

The clip (forward to 13mins) shows her battling with security guards who are desperately trying to cover up.

“The goal was not to exhibit my genitals,” the 33-year-old told AFP, “but to copy a famous photograph by Valie Export” — an Austrian performance artist known for her sexually provocative acts during the 1970s.

“My message is to question the place of women artists in the history of art. That's why it's necessary to do my performances in museums,” said Robertis, who has dual French and Luxembourg nationality.

Robertis was in custody for two days before appearing before a judge, who ordered her to face trial on October 18 on charges of sexual exhibitionism and assault — for biting a museum guard's jacket during her arrest.

“The legal approach to this affair is scandalous,” Robertis's lawyer Marie Dose said. “It's not exhibitionism if there is no wish to assault someone sexually, which is completely contrary to the work of this performance artist.”

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Robertis went on trial in February but was acquitted when a judge determined that similar acts at the Decorative Arts Museum and the Museum of European Photography in Paris were artistic performances.

Robertis performed a similar stunt before the Mona Lisa at the Louvre in April.

She was arrested in January 2016 for indecent exposure after lying down naked in the Orsay Museum in front of Edouard Manet's similarly nude painting of the prostitute Olympia.

In May 2014 she exposed herself in front of Gustave Courbet's “The Origin of the World” painting, also at the Orsay, to mimic the close-up of a woman's genitals. The painting caused a sensation when it went on view in 1866.

The video in the tweet below shows the moment she posed infront of the painting, which provoked the ire of security guards but a round of applause from onlookers. Viewers may find the images graphic. 

 

 

 

TOURISM

New guide to Paris museums – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Paris' museums and art galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

New guide to Paris museums - showing only the nudes
Find your way straight to the most erotic works in Paris galleries. Photo: Guiseppe Cacace/AFP

The online guides to the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay museums are produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

The Classic Nudes series has been ruffling some feathers since it was posted online earlier in July, with the Uffizi museum in Florence threatening to sue. Bosses at the Louvre have said only that they are ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay has remained silent on the subject.

The guide for the Musée d’Orsay lists 11 erotic artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and a location for each piece within the museum.

The Sleep by Gustave Courbet. Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP

Among the works featured are;

  • Le déjeuner sur l’herbe by Edouard Manet (1863) – which features a group having a picnic in which the woman has lost her clothes (the men remain fully dressed in three-piece suits and ties).
  • Un combat des coqs by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1846) – a nude couple watching a cock fight (that’s cockerels fighting, just to be clear).
  • L’origine du monde by Gustave Courbet (1866) – more than 150 years after it was first painted, the intimate close-up of female genitalia is still making waves. In 2019 Facebook had to pay damages to a French teacher whose account was closed when he posted a picture of the famous artwork.

The guide for the Louvre includes:

Nude young Man by Hippolyte Flandrin. Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP
  • Portrait of Madeleine by Marie Guillemine Benoist (1800) – groundbreaking in several senses, this painting is one of the few on the list by a woman, and shows a topless black woman, painted just six years after the abolition of slavery in France’s colonies. 
  • Diane sortant du bain by François Boucher (1742) – one of many paintings on the list showing women having a bath, this features the Greek goddess Diana and her favourite nymph apparently surprised by the artist in the process of drying off after a bath. 
  • Le Jeune homme nu by Hippolyte Flandrin (1835) – most of the flesh shown in both the galleries is female (because that’s the patriarchy for you) but here we have a more rare male nude, a study of a young man sitting and looking rather sad and pensive.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

Both museums, however, form a great day out for all the family and contain a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present both are operating reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.

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