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Playboy cover offends in Mexico

December 15, 2008 |  9:34 am

Playboyvirginmary_2

It appears not all Mexicans marked Friday's Dia de la Virgen de Guadalupe with the same piety last week. 

The owners of the Mexican version of Playboy magazine were forced to apologize after people took offense to the December cover of the magazine, which depicted a nude model resembling the Virgin Mary, according to Reuters:

"The magazine, which hit newsstands on December 1 as ceremonies began leading to Friday's pilgrimage to the Mexico City shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, showed a model wearing nothing but a white cloth over her head and breasts.

"She is standing in front of a stained glass window with the cover line, "We Love You, Maria" in Spanish. The model's name is Maria Florencia Onori."

Chicago-based Playboy Enterprises apologized for the cover, but did its best to wriggle out of responsibility, adding that the magazine in Mexico is run by a licensee, meaning the cover wasn't directly approved by headquarters.

Raul Sayrols, publisher of Playboy Mexico, said in a statement, "The image is not and never was intended to portray the Virgin of Guadalupe or any other religious figure. The intent was to reflect a Renaissance-like mood on the cover."

Despite the controversy, it appears unlikely that Playboy Mexico will recall the 100,000 copies that it printed.

-- Deborah Bonello in Mexico City

Photo: The cover of Playboy Mexico's December issue. Credit: Playboy Mexico

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