The Louvre and Uffizi Are Threatening to Sue Pornhub for Turning Works by Titian and Courbet Into Hardcore Pornography

The museums are not happy with Pornhub's use of their artworks.

Ilona Staller, aka Cicciolina, introduces Pornhub's new
Ilona Staller, aka Cicciolina, introduces Pornhub's new "Classic Nudes" interactive museum guide. Courtesy of Pornhub.

The Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi in Florence are threatening to sue the online pornography site Pornhub for “unauthorized” use of masterworks in the museums’ collections, including works by Titian, Botticelli, Cézanne, and Rembrandt, in a new interactive website and app.

The app, which launched just days ago, includes a high-camp introductory video recorded by Ilona “Cicciolina” Staller, the former porn star and ex-wife of Jeff Koons who starred alongside the artist in his pornographic “Made in Heaven” series.

The app then promises to guide users “past all the prude paintings” and “directly to the good stuff.”

Featured alongside the Louvre and the Uffizi are the Musée d’Orsay, the National Gallery in London, the Prado Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Users can select works from each institution and see pornographic recreations of each scene starring members of the porn troupe MySweetApple. It also features audio narrations from adult star and director Asa Akira.

“There’s a treasure trove of erotic art around the world—depicting nudes, orgies, and more—that’s not available on Pornhub,” Akira said in a statement. “These pre-Internet art pieces are currently sitting in museums, which we are now finally able to start visiting again as Covid restrictions are starting to lift.”

Citing both the Louvre and the Met, Akira added: “Time to ditch those boring self-tour recordings and enjoy every single brushstroke of these erotic masterpieces with me.”

The museums are not thrilled.

“In Italy, the cultural heritage code provides that in order to use images [from] a museum… for commercial purposes, it is necessary to have [the museum’s] permission, which regulates the methods and sets the relative fee[s] to be paid,” a spokesperson for the Uffizi told the Daily Beast.

A representative from the Louvre, meanwhile, told the publication that “Pornhub has heard from our lawyers, we expect the works to be removed at once.”

In an email to Artnet News, the Met, the National Gallery, and the Prado each said they would not be pursuing legal action.

Some of the works brought to life in the app include Titian’s Venus of Urbino and Gustav Courbet’s Origin of the World, which was the subject of an eight-year legal battle between Facebook and a French teacher who posted an image of the work to his account.

Pornhub is also at the center of serious allegations that it hosts and profits from videos of rape, incest, and child abuse.

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