BONN, Germany (CN) – A trial will proceed in Athens against a German magazine that put Venus de Milo on its cover with the headline “Cheats in the Euro Family.” The doctored image depicts one of antiquity’s best-known sculptures wearing a Greek flag and extending the middle finger.
Focus, a popular weekly news magazine in Germany, ran the image on its February 2010 cover along with a comprehensive dossier on Greece’s debt crisis, reporting on what the European Union state’s insolvency could mean for Germany and the rest of Europe.
A group of Greek lawyers filed suit against Focus’ publisher and 12 journalists, accusing them of defamation and insulting a national symbol.
The Associated Press reported that none of the defendants showed up for a hearing this past Tuesday, where an Athens judge refused to dismiss the charges. The trial will resume Dec. 9.
Believed to represent the Greek goddess Aphrodite, the statue lost her arms sometime since her creation in the 2nd century B.C. She stands at the Louvre Museum in Paris.