Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg under fire from art dealer over nudity standards

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According to high-profile Sydney art dealer Tim Goodman, if Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg had his way Michelangelo’s statue of David would be draped in a respectable loin cloth while Norman Lindsay’s randy nymphs would be relegated to a sleazy back room at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, well out of public view.

Goodman has come up against Zuckerberg and his Facebook behemoth after the social media site determined art works featuring nudes that he is about to sell to the world, were too rude for the global platform.


Private Sydney: Nobody gives a speech like Perdis

Indeed it was more of an oration than a thank you when Napoleon Perdis went up to collect his award at the Prix de Marie Claire gala evening in Sydney this week.

“It really is ridiculous, censorship by stealth from a self-appointed arbiter of morality … Facebook,” Goodman, the former chairman of Sotheby’s Australia, told PS.

Goodman is planning to launch his new online art auction business, www.fineartbourse.com, to the world on September 11 with an Erotic, Fetish and Queer Art Auction.

However, Goodman’s plans to promote the sale on Facebook with dedicated ads linking back to his website have been thwarted, with Facebook telling the art dealer: “We don’t allow adverts that depict nudity, even if it isn’t sexual in nature. This includes the use of nudity for artistic or educational purposes.”

Goodman obliged when Facebook asked for parts of the images to be “made ‘decent’ by covering up the offending ‘bits'”, though Goodman’s humour was lost on the social media giant when his staff used happy face and thumbs down emojis to cover various appendages.

Goodman sent Zuckerberg an open letter on Thursday in which he argued the issue was much bigger than launching his auction business.

“I understand the need for an organisation to have standards. It requires great diligence to keep millions of users across a worldwide demographic from getting offended, but your nudity policies are bullshit and frankly I am not the only one who’s outraged at which sort of material you deem inappropriate,” Goodman fumed. 

“Your nudity policies are bullshit”: Tim Goodman penned an angry open letter to Facebook boss Mark Zuckerburg (pictured). Photo: AP

“Facebook is not drawing any distinction between hyper-sexualised images of women, pornography, nudity for awareness, nudity for innovation, and nudity in art … The problem is not the fact that you have conservative advertising guidelines, it’s that you’ve designed a system that doesn’t allow for real judgement.”

Goodman was yet to receive a response from Zuckerberg by the time PS went to press.

No sweet surrender for Napoleon

The Prix de Marie Claire gala on Tuesday night will have to go down as Sydney’s grandest dinner party of 2017.

From the 20 crystal chandeliers especially built for the occasion (actually 10 of them were from Kyle Sandilands’ ill-fated wedding to Tamara Jaber in 2009, Marie Claire commissioned an additional 10) to the line up of 200 glittering guests, which this year included Asher Keddie, Jesinta Franklin, Terry Biviano, designer Anna Plunkett and the one and only make-up maestro Napoleon Perdis and his 17-year-old heir-apparent, daughter Lianna. 

Two hundred guests attended the Prix de Marie Claire event.

Two hundred guests attended the Prix de Marie Claire event. Photo: WWW.ZEDUCE.ORG

Jetting in from their base in Athens, the Perdis father and daughter duo certainly made a spectacular arrival, having just splurged on a family shopping spree at Athenian fashion designer Ioannis Roumeliotis’ kooky boutique.

“He is actually really into gay S&M-inspired fashion,” Napoleon confided to PS as he showcased the fine craftsmanship that had gone into his giant ruffled sleeves that adorned a tunic that stopped just above the knees. He looked like a post-modern Greek dancer wearing his Euzonas Tsolias, though sadly there were no pom poms on his shoes. 

The gala will have to go down as Sydney's grandest dinner party of 2017.

The gala will have to go down as Sydney’s grandest dinner party of 2017. Photo: Marie Claire

Meanwhile Liana rocked a sequinned suit which featured an exposed suspender belt detail on her thighs which kept her pants up. Her risque outfit received purse-lipped Napoleon’s seal of approval. PS later learned the outfit was from Roumeliotis’ Horny Eros collection.

“We go to the boutique as a family … all four girls and me. We love his fashions … it’s just so out there! If you don’t make a statement with your fashion, than what’s the point? Be an individual,” Napoleon, a happily married, self-described out and proud “pansexual” declared in rapid fire to PS, batting his eyelids in double time as his immaculate eyebrows arched ever northward.

Lianna Perdis and her father Napoleon Perdis at the Prix de Marie Claire awards.

Lianna Perdis and her father Napoleon Perdis at the Prix de Marie Claire awards. Photo: Supplied

As for his critics: “They can all go get f—-d!”

Meanwhile Marie Claire editor-in-chief Nicky Briger presided over a decadent evening inside the cathedral-like Sound Stage 7 at Fox Studios which had been taken over for the night.

Models surround diners at the award.

Models surround diners at the award. Photo: Christian Wright Photography

And while some of the awards being handed out were of dubious merit (seriously, a best moisturiser and hair care product of 2017?), the cream of the Australian fashion crop also received well-deserved recognition.

Kristy Hinze’s siblings in business strife

Former Australian supermodel Kristy Hinze may be married to one of the wealthiest men on the planet, but all those billions are no good to her brother Guy Hinze and sister Lauren who have been forced to place their once successful baby goods emporium business into voluntary administration.

A notice on the Bubs Baby Shops website on Thursday told customers: “As of Thursday August 17, 2017 Bubs Baby Shops is under voluntary administration and the affairs, business and property of the company is being managed by the administrators Worrells.”

The business’s website has also been suspended while those customers who already had gift vouchers, credit notes or were paying off products through lay-by agreements were told to register their details with the administrator, along with how much they were owed.

Kristy Hinze and brother Guy Hinze in 2011.

Kristy Hinze and brother Guy Hinze in 2011. Photo: Lee Besford

“We will be having a closing down sale and all stock must go … From all us here at Bubs Baby Shops, we thank you for your continued support for the last 17 years,” the notice said.

PS understands Guy Hinze had recently travelled to the United States and met with his sister and her billionaire husband, 72-year-old Netscape founder Jim Clark, to discuss his business’s financial predicament, while  Lauren’s voicemail greeting yesterday thanked those who had offered their “love and support”. The Hinze’s did not return PS’s calls.

It is not the first time former policeman Guy, and Lauren – who are the grandchildren of the late Russ “Minister for Everything” Hinze – have hit a hurdle in business. Their first store in Noosa burnt down after a fire in an adjoining toilet.

Of the fire, Guy told the Business In Focus website: “I guess starting the business with only $24,000 in stock we originally only insured our stock and our business for $30,000. “

However, over the course of the two years before the fire, the amount of stock had increased with lay-bys and reinvesting capital back into the business.

“I think we burnt down around $120,000,” he later estimated. “That was fairly difficult. I remember when my ex-sergeant knocked on the door at four or five in the morning to tell me that the business had burnt down. The first thing that went through my mind was the insurance because it was our second birthday and the insurance was due and I was looking at it and going ‘Oh it’s only $30,000 I must do something about that’. That was quite hard.”

But the business soon rose from the ashes at a new Sunshine Coast location, with the Hinze’s supermodel sister by their side at the grand reopening in 2002.

No sandy feet for this Princess

As we reach “peak Diana” in the lead-up to the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on August 31, on Monday another royal milestone will be passed, but with little fanfare. It would have been the 87th birthday of the late Princess Margaret.

Indeed, no one would have understood Diana’s lot in life better than Margaret, who in her own time was the most controversial and gossiped-about royal of her generation.

Princess Margaret, as captured by her husband, Lord Snowdon.

Princess Margaret, as captured by her husband, Lord Snowdon. Photo: Lord Snowdon

Today, PS’ spotlight shines back on Princess Margaret’s 1975 tour of Australia, the last of only two official tours she ever took here, though there was an unscheduled emergency trip to Sydney in 1978 after the Princess had to be airlifted to the antipodes after taking ill during a tour of the tropical islands of the Pacific.

Her trip coincided with what has been described as the “lowest point” of her marriage to Lord Snowdon, a matter which had received plenty of attention in the press both back in England and throughout the colonies, including here in Australia.

The invitation from Canberra was tellingly addressed to the Princess.

Princess Margaret is greeted by prime minister Gough Whitlam and his wife on October 22, 1975.

Princess Margaret is greeted by prime minister Gough Whitlam and his wife on October 22, 1975. Photo: Green

Royal biographer, the late Tim Heald, wrote in his 2007 book Princess Margaret: A Life Unravelled, the invitation from Australia said: “If Lord Snowdon were to accompany you, it would give us added pleasure”.

“Unfortunately, his presence could no longer give any pleasure to his wife. When Snowdon said yes, he would like to go, Margaret said she would cancel the trip. After a tussle, he withdrew, and she went alone.”

Among the “high points” of the tour was the performance of The Two Pigeons by the Australian Ballet, while the chief protocol officer of the Moonee Valley Racing Club praised Margaret’s “dedication and co-operation” when she visited under what he described as “appalling conditions”.

Three floors in heels. Princess Margaret visits the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship.

Three floors in heels. Princess Margaret visits the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship. Photo: Antonin Cermak

Heald wrote: “There was also a ticklish occasion when the Princess mulishly told Anne Tennant, her lady-in-waiting, that she was not, as scheduled, going to step on to Bondi Beach, meet the lifeguards and see them demonstrate traditional and modern methods of life-saving.

“Lady Anne, who had been prepared for trouble, said that she really felt the Princess ought to, because to be seen to be snubbing the lifeguards could be construed as a dreadful insult to the Australian nation.

“The Princess insisted and explained that she was wearing the wrong sort of shoes, and the one thing she couldn’t stand was getting sand between her toes. With an air of triumph, Lady Anne said she just happened to have a pair of flat shoes in a bag with her. Princess Margaret conceded defeat and stepped on to the beach.”

Princess Margaret, right, celebrates her 50th birthday on August 21, 1980 with Queen Elizabeth II.

Princess Margaret, right, celebrates her 50th birthday on August 21, 1980 with Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: Norman Parkinson

Following her return to England, Heald writes there was an encounter in France with museum director Sir Roy Strong.

“Princess Margaret was just back from Australia, which she told him she ‘hated’. She complained that there had been no crowds and the traffic lights had been left on.”

Though that would have been news to those who she met during her trip in 1975, especially the ladies of the Victoria League for Commonwealth Friendship who gave the Princess a thorough tour of their Grosvenor Street headquarters. Indeed, perhaps the poor Princess was too puffed to complain, having had to climb the three floors of the building in high heels and remain composed for the barrage of photos demanded of her.

Princess Margaret announced her engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon) in February, 1960.

Princess Margaret announced her engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones (Lord Snowdon) in February, 1960. Photo: AP

Princess Margaret’s marriage to Lord Snowdon ended in divorce in 1978.

By then she had caused another stir when, still married to Lord Snowdon, she holidayed on the Caribbean party island of Mustique with her young lover Roddy Llewellyn in the 1970s, a far cry from taking tea with the Victoria League ladies in Sydney.

Princess Margaret, the Queen’s only sibling, died in 2002 at the age of 71.

Pooch but no Packer

While there was no billionaire ex-husband to be seen, PS can reveal Erica Packer had her own personal “guardian angel” throughout her 40th birthday celebrations in Aspen this week. James Packer was conspicuously absent but his mother Ros, big sister Gretel and niece Francesca did fly the family flag, along with his own three young children with Erica, who appeared to have been besotted with a fluffy pooch throughout the three-day festivities. The dog belonged to another party guest, Hollywood hunk Orlando Bloom, an old friend of Erica’s. As for that guardian angel, he was described as a hunky man wearing feathery angel wings who appeared to be holding Erica’s drinks at West Buttermilk Ranch.

Loved-up Karl on house hunt

While father of three Karl Stefanovic is yet to file divorce papers more than a year after leaving his wife of 21 years Cassandra Thorburn, the television host has been busy looking at Sydney real estate with his new squeeze, shoe designer Jasmine Yarbrough. Stefanovic did not respond to PS’ queries this week suggesting the couple were about to take their blossoming relationship to the “next level”.

All in the family: Karl Stefanovic sitting front row during fashion week with girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough, his mother Jenny (far left), her mother Cheryl (in pink), her sister Jade (in black and white) and Today presenter Richard Wilkins (far right).

All in the family: Karl Stefanovic sitting front row during fashion week with girlfriend Jasmine Yarbrough, his mother Jenny (far left), her mother Cheryl (in pink), her sister Jade (in black and white) and Today presenter Richard Wilkins (far right). Photo: AAP

Chin Chin for restaurant awards

The scaffolding is still up outside Surry Hills’ historic Griffiths Tea building but that won’t stop Australian Gourmet Traveller from hosting the first party inside Chris Lucas’ promising new restaurant Chin Chin. AGT is hosting its annual restaurant awards on Wednesday night. The Griffiths Teas building was previously owned by rags-to-riches migrants Isaac and Susan Wakil, and was empty for the past 30 years. In 2014 the reclusive Wakils, now aged in their 80s and 90s, started selling their $200 million inner-city property portfolio, the proceeds of which have been funnelled into a wide range of charitable causes across the city.

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