Vienna Uncensored: Galleries to promote nudes through OnlyFans 'adults only' social media account

Pictures of a 30,000-year-old nude statuette, an oil painting of a striding naked man and a fountain holding three topless mermaids have been posted on a website known best for pornography by some of Vienna's top museums after growing tired of online censorship.

A group of museums in the Austrian capital turned to OnlyFans, a social media network best known for erotic content, in a bid to kick back against "prudishness" of social networking sites.

The account was started as part of a new campaign, known in English as Vienna Laid Bare and in German as Vienna Uncensored, designed to shed light on how online censorship operates in the social media age.

Norbert Kettner, Vienna tourist board chief, said Facebook and other social media sites had censored several artworks for being pornographic, including the Venus of Willendorf, a 30,000-year-old stone statuette of a naked woman's torso.

Mr Kettner told the German Press Agency on Friday the museums turned to OnlyFans "to beat the system at its own game".

OnlyFans is a membership-based online content platform where users, known as "Fans", can sign up to see erotic and pornographic content from particular providers and channels.

Vienna's Natural History Museum, where the Venus is displayed, has signed up, as has the Leopold Museum, the Kunsthistorisches Museum and the Albertina.

Works by Austrian artists, including Egon Schiele, Richard Gerstl and Koloman Moser, and the Italian Amedeo Modigliani can be seen on the platform.

The tourist board said that while the campaign has already attracted several hundred subscribers, the goal was to start a debate about "the new wave of prudishness" led by social media companies.

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The board added: "it hardly comes as any surprise to learn that some of their artworks fell foul of the censors over 100 years ago."

"And the battle against censorship still rages on: with the rise of social media, bans like these are back in headlines once again."

While Facebook later apologised for banning the Venus, Isabella Rauter, from the tourist board, said it became frustrating and time consuming to promote the works online, which would be banned automatically for "showing too much skin".

"Basically, an algorithm deletes the images if it detects too much skin and thus supposedly erotic content," she told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

"Then we have to prove the opposite. So you can react [to the censorship] - but it's difficult and tedious.

"One wonders why the platforms even have the right to delete art."

See also: 100 years old, but still too rude for public display

See also: The scandalous secrets of Vienna

The Telegraph, London

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