Pisa Mayor Says Erotic Souvenirs Must Go

Daily Mail: Fines of up to €500 ($710) will be handed out to stalls selling erotic souvenirs of the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa in a new crackdown by the town's Mayor.

Marco Filippeschi has called popular tourist buys, such as underwear with the Tower resembling a penis, and aprons that show Michaelangelo's David in all his glory, 'trashy' and 'not the image of the city of Pisa we want to cultivate'.

The Catholic Church are also keen for a ban on the souvenirs which include clothing with famous erotic Roman art, calling it 'a complete lack of respect' and a 'disgrace'.

The stalls are a common sight around the famous 800-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa which is in the central Italian region of Tuscany and visited by more than a million people a year. The puritanical blitz has been ordered by the city's centre left mayor Marco Filippeschi who has asked mayors in other popular Tuscan tourist towns such as Siena, Florence and San Gimignano - one of Tony Blair's favourite holiday destinations - to do the same.

Earlier this summer Deena Cortese from hit MTV show Jersey Shore was pictured wearing a novelty apron which is popular with tourists and which shows Michelangelo's David against a backdrop of the Italian flag.

Mayor Filippeschi said today: 'This material is offensive to public decorum and should be banned from souvenir stalls - people with young families should not have to see these shocking items. Some of the so called novelty souvenir items that can be found on these stalls are verging on the pornographic and this is not the image of the city of Pisa we want to cultivate. Laws already exist which allow city councils to impose restrictions on selling items which are regarded as inappropriate but for too long a blind eye was turned to these trashy souvenirs.'

But it’s not just Pisa council who is on the offensive - so is the Catholic Church which has a Cathedral just by the famous Tower on the square where the stalls are gathered. Monsignor Enzo Lucchesini, of the Pisa diocese, said: 'Those souvenirs are a disgrace, not just for the faithful who come to the cathedral but also for the locals.

'It shows a complete lack of respect - these sort of things are a sign of the decadence that exists in these times. We fully agree with what the council are doing and call for these offensive items to be removed.'

One disgruntled stall holder near the Leaning Tower, which was first built in 1177 and has recently been renovated and leans at 3.9 degrees, said: 'It's just a bit of harmless fun. The tourists snap them up - there is a crisis on how do the council expect us to make a living.'

Italy has a number of bylaws introduced by council to improve public decorum and these not building sandcastles on a beach near Venice, not hanging beach towels over balconies in the Riviera town of Lerici. In Castellammare di Stabia, south of Naples, the council has even outlawed miniskirts, low-cut jeans and too much cleavage with offenders facing a €300 fine.


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