United Nations agency puts underwear on nude sculptures for exhibit
© Zachary Paulino/Twitter

The United Nations’s cultural agency is under fire after it covered up the genitalia of several nude sculptures with underwear while on display for an exhibit.

The sculptures, created by French sculptor Stéphane Simon, were being displayed in Paris as part of a series called “In Memory of Me,” which was meant to be a commentary on the now-worldwide societal norm of taking selfies, CNN reports.

But officials decided that the selfie-taking, classical-style figures’ genitalia needed to be covered up during the European Heritage Days event in September for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Simon was offended by the move, telling CNN the addition of underwear “humiliated him” and was “disgusting.”

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"I felt ashamed, so deeply sad to see all these years of work and research broken," he told the outlet. "For two days visitors came to meet, to ask me: 'But why did you do that?' But it was not my choice."

He added that the issue of nudity was one that he raised in planning meetings with UNESCO leading up to the event. But it wasn’t until a few days before the sculptures went out on display that they were covered up, leaving Simon with no time to make any changes, CNN reports.

The United Kingdom newspaper The Times said its move was a “big mistake,” with an official telling the outlet that “we didn’t want to censor the artist, and understand that he felt hurt."