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Italian Billboard of a Topless Nun Is Obviously Controversial

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A billboard depicting a nearly topless nun in Naples, Italy, is stirring up controversy as the city gets ready to host Pope Francis in a couple of weeks, Reuters reports.

Sponsored by women’s clothing brand Rossodisera, the ad on the side of a building shows a female model wearing part of a nun’s habit—the headpiece—and blue jeans. The way she holds a rosary to pray is also an attempt to cover up her breasts.

While residents reportedly think the ad is blasphemous, “obscene” and “ugly,” the company claims it came up with the promotion well before the papal visit. A statement to Gazzetta del Sud said, “We realized we made a strong marketing choice but there was no blasphemous intent.”


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Write to Olivia B. Waxman at olivia.waxman@time.com