Berlusconi orders private repair for statue

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The Independent Online

A Roman statue of Mars, the god of war, displayed in Silvio Berlusconi's office in Rome has been controversially restored with a new marble penis at a cost of €70,000 (£59,000).

The newspaper La Repubblica claimed that the 2nd-century marble statue of Mars and Venus, the goddess of love, had been fixed, without respecting traditional techniques.

But Mr Berlusconi's architect, Mario Catalano, said the work had been fully authorised, before adding intriguingly, that the new body parts were "removable".