ITALY: Photographer Alberto Magliozzi Depicts A Naked Madonna On His 2003 Calendar
- Title: ITALY: Photographer Alberto Magliozzi Depicts A Naked Madonna On His 2003 Calendar
- Date: 20th November 2002
- Summary: CU: (SOUNDBITE) (Italian) MODEL LUCIA TRITTO, 25, SAYING: "It is a message which is different from the usual erotic one that nude models may transmit. These inematographic-style photos transmit only a sense of well-being"
- Reuters ID: LVACDEJ5Z4BRJZGRY6WDLSDVSB4W
- Location: ROME, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Duration: 00:00:15
- Topics: Arts
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None
- Story Text: Images of the Madonna always get lots of exposure in Italy in the run-up to Christmas, but this year the mother of Jesus is completely naked.
In a 2003 calendar on sale at news stands country-wide, a glamour photographer has shot 12 months of undressed women in provocative scenes inspired by the life of Christ.
It's all part of a sexy calendar craze that takes Italy by storm every year, with top models and TV celebrities baring all in what has become a 10 million euro (dollar) business.
This time, however, the naked Madonnas calendar may have gone too far.
"I chose the theme of Madonna because a woman who carries out an important gesture, can become a Madonna," photographer Alberto Magliozzi said from a studio in Rome.
"I wanted to represent the Madonnas in this modern era.
They have always been portrayed in a certain manner - I saw them in this manner," he said.
April is a bare-breasted Virgin Mary, halo shining above her head, with her arms held out to reveal bleeding palms like the wounds of Christ on the cross, and wearing nothing but a transparent loin cloth and white high heels.
"It is absolutely not blasphemous. More than anything else, it is pious, mystical and sweet. It isnt crude, or strong in any way," said model Maria Rosaria De Legge, 25, who features on the cover of calendar with bleeding palms.
September features a heavy-bosomed Virgin Mary with child, while March depicts a raven-haired nude in a pose evocative of Mary Magdalene, the penitent prostitute.
"It is a message which is different from the usual erotic one that nude models may transmit. These cinematographic-style photos transmit only a sense of well-being," said Lucia Tritto, 25.
Magliozzi, who has an international reputation for his "artistic-erotic" images of celebrities, including Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman, defends his images as not being blashphemous in any way.
"I would really like to meet face-to-face with the church - a priest, a cardinal or a bishop - to try and explain how I have highlighted only positive aspects and how I haven't been blasphemous at all in these photographs," said Magliozzi.
According to the photographer Magliozzi says the public reaction has been positive and that sales were strong, although he had no numbers. Publishers have printed 40,000 copies, which retail for eight euros ($8).
"It was a little embarassing posing nude, even if in the photos I don't seem totally nude, " said model Emanuela Sanita', 25, who poses on the February page.
" Calendars used to portray saints, at least in the Latin and Catholic worlds, such as Padre Pio. Calendars used to refer to religion, to things sacred," said moral theologian Father Gino Concetti.
"Instead, in this way, there is a desire to put women in the place of these holy figures. But, in this way, women are desecrated and debased," he said, speaking from a church in Rome.
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- Embargoed:5th December 2002 12:00