L’Origine du Monde – Gustav Courbet, 1866. Photo: Musée d’Orsay, Paris

by Agape Charmani

Remember the case of “The Origin of the World”? A Paris court ruled that it has jurisdiction to judge against Facebook, for deleting the account of a French teacher, who posted an image of Gustave Courbet’s famous painting The Origin of the World.

Even though Facebook’s lawyers argued that all users agree to use the courts in California for litigation when they join the site, therefore cannot be under French Supreme Court’s jurisdiction, Facebook has indeed changed its policy on nudity. “We also restrict some images of female breasts if they include the nipple, but we always allow photos of women actively engaged in breastfeeding or showing breasts with post-mastectomy scarring. We also allow photographs of paintings, sculptures, and other art that depicts nude figures,” they write on their Community Standards.

Apart from a huge win for the teacher, who had the courage to take his case to court, this is a huge win for artists and photographers all around the world, who can now upload their work on Facebook, without fear and hesitation. Finally, this is an enormous win for the majority of classic artworks, that have been reported due to their subjects’ nudity.

So, thank you Facebook, and please, don’t make the mistake of forgetting again; Courbet’s The Origin of the World gave us life!

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