From the Beeb: Fresco fragment revives Papal scandal.
A fresco painting by a Renaissance master which once decorated the bedroom of Pope Alexander VI in the Vatican has gone on show in Rome.
A leading Italian art historian and curator says he has documentary proof that it was once part of a much larger painting depicting the aged Pope kneeling in front of his youthful mistress, Giulia Farnese.
This is an unusual example of "damnatio memoriae" — a Latin phrase meaning "damnation of memory".
It refers to a custom dating back to antiquity – the attempted removal of a famous person from the historical record for reasons of dishonour.
Roman Emperors used to order the destruction or removal of portraits or statues of disgraced members of their family.
Pope Alexander VI, the notorious Borgia Pope from Spain, discredited the Church by his debauched lifestyle. [continue]
If “damnatio memoriae” were to be exercised by historians, the history books would be slim volumes indeed. Few honorable people rise to positions of historical mention; fewer still had the integrity to maintain that strength of character. Vespasian, maybe?