Italy has been mocked for covering up nude statues during the visit of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

The statutes were covered up with plain white boards in the city’s Capitoline museum.

Italian news agency Ansa first reported the story, saying the statues were covered up as a mark of respect for the conservative Islamic republic.

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Alcohol was not served at dinners with the president – a standard diplomatic procedure for officials visiting from Islamic countries.

However Iranians have taken to social media to mock the decision to obscure the nudity.

The women’s rights campaign group My Stealthy Freedom tweeted, suggesting female Italian politicians should speak out during the visit.

“So Italy! You respect Islamic values but the Islamic Republic of Iran does not respect our values [or] our freedom of choice,” a statement said.

“They force any non-Muslim women to cover ourselves in Iran. If you are just visiting Iran uncovered you will be deported from the airport or if you are an Iranian woman then you won’t have any education.”

Others mocked Italy for the decision, saying the visit had brought Italy “back to Counter-Reformation.”

Some tweeted photos of statues photoshopped to look like they were obscured with casual clothing.

Iran has denied that it requested the covering up of the statues