By Jeff Goldblatt
San Antonio, TX (KENS/CNN) - An art exhibit is stirring up controversy in San Antonio. It features a statue of Aphrodite that some are calling offensive.
The San Antonio Museum of Art takes great pride in its new Aphrodite exhibit, especially a 2,000-year-old statuette of the Greek goddess emerging from the sea, but the museum never fathomed the controversy stirred by the ancient sculpture.
"The human body still incites a lot of feelings, whether they are of love or delight, or anxiety," said Katie Luber.
Although the statuette had a featured spot in the museum's advertising campaign, three clients said no to the sculpture, including the San Antonio International Airport.
An airport spokesman tells KENS5. "Whether it's public art or advertising, we don't authorize anything that portrays nudity or violence."
"We see naked people on TV all the time these days, and she is not a naked person. I see art. This is art. This is not pornography," said Luber.
"I guess everyone has the right to their opinion, but these have been hallmarks of civilization for centuries, and, I think, in that regard, we need to keep an open mind," said museum visitor Diane Temple.
In the spirit of tolerance for a conflicting viewpoint, the museum opted for a new face for its airport ad campaign, spinning this flap as an opportunity that underscores the enduring power of Aphrodite.
"I think it actually is kind of a wonderful spotlight on the show, that it did incite such great feelings of passion and anxiety," said Luber.
The museum did not reveal the names of the other two businesses that rejected the ad featuring Aphrodite, but they did say one was a local magazine.
The Aphrodite exhibit runs through February of next year.