London, Aug 22 : Italian art experts, who restored a cryptic medieval fresco that depicted a tree of fertility, have been accused of censoring the work by painting over the numerous phalluses, which dangle from its boughs.
The rare 13th century â€˜Tree of Fertilityâ€™ fresco, which was unearthed a decade ago in the Tuscan town of Massa Marittima, has been restored for three years.
And now, the experts who were supervising the restoration have been slapped with charges that they have sanitised the mural by scrubbing out or altering some of the testicles that dangle from the treeâ€™s branches along with around 25 phalluses.
â€œMany parts of the work seem to have been arbitrarily repainted,â€ the Telegraph quoted Gabriele Galeotti, a town councillor who has called for an investigation after seeing the finished work, as saying.
â€œThe authenticity of the fresco seems to have been compromised by a restoration effort that did not respect the original character of the work,â€ he added.
However, restorers turned down the charges, claiming that if there is at all any alteration in the appearance, then it might have been caused while removing the thick deposits of salt and calcium that covered the work.
â€œThe restoration in no way radically modified the original features,â€ said Mario Scalini, the head of heritage and arts for the local province of Siena and Grosseto.
â€œThe operation was carried out with the greatest of care,â€ he added.