A famous naked statue of the sea god Neptune has reportedly been censored by Facebook for being sexually explicit.
The Renaissance sculpture of the muscled deity lies in a square in the middle of Bologna in northern Italy and is photographed by thousands of tourists each year.
But when art writer Elisa Barbari used the image to illustrate her creative Facebook page, the social media behemoth ruled it inappropriate.
Facebook reportedly sent a statement to the artist saying: “It presents an image with content that is explicitly sexual and which shows to an excessive degree the body, concentrating unnecessarily on body parts.
“The use of images or video of nude bodies or plunging necklines is not allowed, even if the use is for artistic or educational reasons.”
Barbari told the Telegraph: “I wanted to promote my page but it seems that for Facebook the statue is a sexually explicit image that shows off too much flesh. Really, Neptune? This is crazy!
“How can a work of art, our very own statue of Neptune, be the object of censorship?”
The statue was carved in the 16th century and has been the centrepiece of the square for nearly five centuries.
The episode follows another last year where the famous Vietnam photo of a naked girl running from napalm attacks was barred from the site for showing nudity.
And, in January 2015, pictures of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue were reportedly blocked for the same reasons.
A Facebook spokesman later said: “Our team processes millions of advertising images each week, and in some instances we incorrectly prohibit ads. This image does not violate our ad policies.
“We apologise for the error and have let the advertiser know we are approving their ad.”