The Italian Almanac

Moana Pozzi

Italian News - December 16

Bologna city council's Nativity scene was at the centre of a heated row on Friday after the decision to include a naked figurine representing a famous dead porno star. Politicians on both sides of the political divide expressed disbelief at the inclusion of the late Moana Pozzi among the 172 figurines adorning the crib in Bologna's city hall.

The curvaceous, blonde Pozzi was Italy's best-known porn queen until her sudden death from liver cancer in 1994 at the age of 33. The crib figurine shows a naked, terrified Pozzi fleeing a scythe-wielding Grim Reaper, who is bearing down upon her from astride a horse.

The figurines, which also include Premier Romano Prodi on a bicycle, are the work of Italian artist Wolfango Peretti Poggi. Members of the centrist Daisy, a Catholic party in Prodi's centre-left governing coalition, said they were "astonished and outraged" at the crib.

"In an attempt to 'modernise' the crib, new figures have been inserted - not just Prodi but Moana Pozzi. This is a very curious and controversial mix which definitely clashes with a scene that should be intensely religious," the Daisy senators said in their complaint to Bologna Mayor Sergio Cofferati.

Cofferati, however, remained unrepentant. When questioned by reporters about the reactions to the crib, he said: "Have any of them actually seen it?"