Barcelona’s Museum of Archeology and the Catalan naturism club have come together to promote the love of the nude.
In a special opening on the last weekend of October, the Museum of Archeology of Catalonia welcomed members of the Catalan Naturism Club, who kept their shoes on but nothing else for the occasion. And in a lovely twist, the occasion was an unusual exhibition featuring naked warriors.
The “Bronzes of Riace” show comprises works by Italian photographer Luigi Spina. It’s a collection of photographs of two impressive Greek bronzes depicting full-size naked warriors. Dating from the 5th century BCE, the nude soldiers were found by divers on Italy’s Calabrian coast in 1972. It is rumoured a third statue, a shield and a helmet were stolen before authorities could recover the artefacts.
Why the nude tour?
Aside from being a clever mutual publicity stunt for the museum and club, the 90-minute nude tour was explained on the museum website as an opportunity for visitors to get under the skin of the statues and “admire the works by posing in the same situation as they are, completely naked and surrounded by other bodies.”
We wanted people who came to see it to feel exactly the same as the work they were looking at.Edgard, Museum Tour Guide
Museum tour guide Edgard joined in valiantly with the spirit of the day, getting his kit off too and giving the group the lowdown on the exhibition in the buff. “We wanted to make it a more colourful visit and not the typical guided tour,” he said.
Given how well-endowed the statues are with six-packs and glistening bodies, the nudists might not all have felt “exactly the same as the work”, but Marta, a 59-year-old health worker and naturist, said: “[I feel] the same intensity as observing it with clothes on, but with the difference that we might understand better that nudity has always existed and bodies should not be a source of shame for anyone.”
Photographs taken on the day show the group seizing the chance to pose like the statues in each photograph. According to Edgard, it was a unique opportunity to reach across history and the museum wanted the group “not just to look it, but to have some connection with it. As the exhibition says, what we have in common in all ages of humanity is our body.”
Meanwhile, other destinations are asking visitors to keep their clothes on.