Wednesday, December 28, 2005; Posted: 6:47 p.m. EST (23:47 GMT)
VIENNA, Austria (Reuters) -- Spoof posters depicting Britain's Queen Elizabeth having sex with the U.S. and French presidents that are displayed across Vienna are causing embarrassment just days ahead of Austria's taking over the EU presidency.
The images show two naked female models wearing masks of President George W. Bush and the queen, and a male model with a President Jacques Chirac mask, positioned as if they are having sex.
Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel appealed to the artists to withdraw the images, according to a spokeswoman quoted by the APA news agency.
Part of a series called "euroPART" that features art created by artists from all 25 member countries of the European Union, the posters were meant to "reflect on the different social, historical and political developments in Europe," said art project 25peaces, which commissioned the posters.
25peaces received 1 million euros ($1.2 million) funding from the Austrian government for the works.
But the project's 150 images -- only three of which had sexual overtones -- caused uproar in the media and among politicians.
The tabloid Kronen-Zeitung, read by half of Austria's population, called for immediate removal of the "porno posters" from 400 billboards in prominent places across the city.
Remember to support federal funding for the arts, people. Think of all that would be lost if your tax dollars didn't go to subsidize an elephant dung smeared picture of the virgin mary or how you would feel if another country was able to scoop us in being the first to spread hundreds of nekkid people on a street and take pictures. Look at how much effort the EU has put into subsidizing crap art so they can overtake us. We cannot allow this to happen.
Hell, if 1.2 million dollars can buy them 150 crap images, just imagine what 1 billion dollars could net us. We could do it bigger and better than anyone else has ever even dreamed of! I see pictures of kim jong il riding a donkey nekkid while putin spanks his bare bottom with a riding crop and gives the donkey a reach around. And not just as a photo...but as a sculpture made completely out of jello! Lifesized and sprinked with crucifixes and with everyone, donkey included, wearing one of those little yarmulke. It would be glorious.