Adult entertainment empire Pornhub wants you to know that it’s getting some – culture, that is. Several museums are now reportedly suing the company for hiring fans’ beloved talent to re-enact erotic scenes from famous paintings.

Titillating images from some of the world’s best-known art museums are brought to life in ‘Show Me the Nudes,’ a smartphone-based artistic scavenger hunt featuring some of the art world’s best-known nude paintings. Equipped with maps of the real-life artifacts in their museum layout, newly minted art enthusiasts can get off on hunting down the paintings – or just zoom in and out on the exquisitely rendered naughty bits of Renaissance babes and suggestive still-lifes from the comfort of their own home.

While the Daily Beast claimed on Tuesday that museums are “furious” that Pornhub is “sexually exploiting classic masterpieces without permission,” others may be getting a kick out of this unorthodox manner of introducing a new generation to fine-art appreciation. After all, the museums in question are comfortably rolling in cash – France’s Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, Italy’s Uffizi, Britain’s National Gallery, Spain’s Museo del Prado, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art are not backstreet galleries living hand-to-mouth – and the actors are household names, for those who are into that sort of thing.

Italian former porn actress Cicciolina, also known as Ilona Staller, dons a nude bodysuit in one clip to model Botticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’, delivering cringe-inducing lines such as “porn may not be considered art, but some art may definitely be considered porn.” 

She urged Pornhub subscribers to heed the disembodied voices in their heads and go check out the mega-porn stashes lurking just beneath the surface at the world’s greatest art museums.

Luring viewers out of their comfort zone with promises of “a treasure trove of priceless porn out there just waiting to be discovered, hiding in plain sight all along,” Staller teases the viewer by suggesting that “people have been telling you to go and see it but you didn’t want to listen.”

“Some of the best porn of all time isn’t on Pornhub – it can only be found in a museum,” she giggles, as a series of nude paintings, male and female, are shown on screen.

The Luxembourg-based firm boasts it is “one of the top-five bandwidth consumption companies in the world,” and it has even been accused of maintaining a monopoly over online porn.

And while a spokesperson from the Uffizi told the Daily Beast that Pornhub had already heard from its lawyers, fuming that such profanation of its paintings falls far outside the standard authorization for fair use. One might argue that any publicity is good publicity, however, particularly in the time of Covid-19, when even the deepest-pocketed museums could use a little TLC. The Louvre is also reportedly suing Pornhub, indicating it “expects the works to be removed at once.”

Pornhub doesn’t seem too worried about the future of its foray into fine art, and has expressed plans to expand the project “if the first round is successful.”

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