Ads showing Michaelangelo's naked statue banned in Luxembourg

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BRUSSELS -- The long-running pedophilia scandal in Belgium has forced a last minute change to a poster campaign featuring Michaelangelo's naked David statue in neighboring Luxembourg.

The Ministry of Health last month launched an AIDS awareness poster campaign through local independent ad agency Comed, featuring a close-up of David's private parts.

But poster contractor JC Decaux refused to run the campaign, arguing that the ad was insensitive. "We stopped the campaign for one reason - Mark Detroux," says Els Desmedt, a director of Decaux responsible for Luxembourg. Detroux is on trial in Belgium for his part in a string of pedophilia cases that first came to light last September.

Decaux did, however, agree to a compromise with the Ministry of Health, and a poster featuring the whole statue of David - wearing a condom - went up in place of the original artwork.

Decaux is understood to have helped pay for the change in visuals. The campaign ran on 87 poster sites.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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