Belgian Model Poses Nude in Photo Overlooking Western Wall

By Yourway-to-israel [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Marisa Papen wanted to push artistic and political boundaries

Belgian model Marisa Papen posted a provocative photograph of herself naked on an Israeli rooftop with the vista of Jerusalem’s Old City in the background. The photo was taken by Mathias Lambrecht. In the picture, the model is leaning on a white chair with the adjoining plaza and Western Wall clearly visible.

For Papen, this was her third visit to Israel. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, she claims to love Israel. The infamous model set foot in the Middle-Eastern Jewish country for shooting photos to be used by a Belgian gallery. The series is set to be titled Road to Liberation. When asked about her reason for a nude photoshoot, she mentioned her intention to push boundaries of both politics and religion beyond the pale. The model mentioned an incident where she spent one night locked up inside an Egyptian jail. Her crime was posing nude for a series of photos in an archaeological site located near Luxor.

Papen posed for photographs not only at the Western Wall but also in Tel Aviv and at the Dead Sea. Many pictures also show her straddling a flagpole complete with an Israeli flag fluttering in the wind. She was naked in all the pictures. She is fully aware of the reaction her photos will bring. In her NSFW blog, she tells the reader not to judge any book by its title. The model said she expects to get hate mail for her photographs and thus will not open it.

The angle of the offending photograph does not cover the Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock, areas sacred to both Muslims and Jews. Papen's detractors seized upon this omission, stating that the angle was carefully selected to avoid any backlash from Islamic fundamentalists.

The Belgian rejected such a notion outright. Papen said there was no way her photographer had willfully excluded the Islamic holy site inside the lens shot. Papen explained both she and Lambrecht had scoured multiple locations for the view which included both the Temple Mount and Western Wall. There were many photographs with Dome of the Rock as the backdrop. The offending picture is on display in Frank Rose Gallery, Knokke, Belgium. She added that this specific photo was taken on the 70th Independence Day of Israel around May 14.

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