ROME (CBS13) – Italy’s decision to cover nude statues during Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s visit is continuing to face criticism.

Thursday, the leader of the Syrian Catholic Church harshly criticized the decision.

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“This is our culture. If you don’t want to see it, close your eyes!” said Patriarch Youssef III Younan, as reported in Religion News Service.

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Italian officials have been dealing with the outcry about the decision to cover up nudity at Rome’s Capitoline Museums. President Rouhani was in Rome and visited the Vatican on Tuesday, meeting with Pope Francis.

It is unclear who actually ordered the statues to be covered up, with Italian politicians now saying that they weren’t informed about the plan.

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Rouhani visited Italy and France this week in an effort to thaw relations between the west and Iran.