Fury Over Italy Hols Ads Showing Botticelli’s Venus As Selfie-Snapping Influencer

Italian tourism bosses have caused outrage after launching a EUR 9 million campaign depicting Botticelli’s Venus as a selfie-takingm pizza-munching social media influencer.

Picture shows new digital ambassador of Italian tourism Venere Italia, Botticelli’s Venus created by AI. New 9 million marketing campaign by Tourism Ministry of Italy “Open to Meraviglia” with Venus, dressed in modern-day clothing and having her own Instagram page, faced wave of criticism. (@ministeroturismo/CEN)

Sandro Botticelli’s famous Venus, best known as a deity depicted emerging from a sea shell, has now been revamped by tourism bosses into a miniskirt-wearing, selfie-taking, pizza-munching influencer by the Italian Ministry of Tourism.

In the images, Venus can be seen riding a bike in front of Rome’s Coliseo, posing for a snap with a slice of pizza in her hand while sitting by a lake, and even snapping a selfie in St Mark’s Square in Venice.

The campaign has been described by netizens and by the Italian press as “ridiculous”.

The Italian Ministry of Tourism said that the campaign is geared towards advertising the country’s “beauties, from our big cities to small towns” and its “unlimited heritage of art, nature and gastronomy”.

The campaign blurb also reads: “And who better than me to take you to discover this beautiful country, at any time of the year? I am Venus. The icon of Italy in today’s world, today as a virtual influencer.”


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