Facebook Bans Iconic Photo Posted by Hellenic Museum of Melbourne

The avant-garde picture of nude Mona Paeva

Nearly ninety years since this emblematic photo was taken at the Acropolis, Facebook decided that it was inappropriate, and in turn, banned it.

The victim of this surreal censorship was the Hellenic Museum of Melbourne that posted the photo to advertise an exhibition of the works of Nelly, the legendary Greek photographer.

The exhibition part of its collaboration with the Benaki Museum in Athens, was announced by Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews following his recent trip to Athens, where he spoke in favour of the return of Parthenon Marbles to Greece.

But when the Museum went ahead with the announcement, posting one of Nelly’s photos on its Facebook page, Facebook said the image was obscene and banned it.

A more “modest” photograph was uploaded instead, says Neos Kosmos.

Who was Nelly

Nelly , a pseudonym for Elli Sougioultzoglou-Seraidari, was born in Asia Minor in 1899.

She studied photography in Germany, near the great classic photographer Hugo Erfurt and later, with Franz Fiedler, she was initiated into the new approach in photography and the European Neο-Romanticism.

She opened her first studio on Ermou street in Athens, in 1924 and her lens captured important personalities and themes of that time, such as the famous dancer of Opera Comique Mona Paeva dancing nude in the Parthenon, the Delphic Festival and Eva Sikelianou, Dimitris Mitropoulos, principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera of New York etc.

Her avant-garde pictures of nude Mona Paeva on the Parthenon were taken in 1928, and were published in the French magazine Illustration de Paris, causing a scandal in the small city of Athens of that time.

Today, nearly ninety years later, these photos continue to scandalize the biggest global social network.