Publisher of German magazine Focus are on trial for a cover with ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite showing her middle finger to Europeans. The cover is a satire over debt-crippled Greece.


The Focus February 2010 cover, titled as “Cheats in the European Family” depicted the famous Venus de Milo statue, draped in a Greek flag, making the insulting gesture.

As mentioned in the indictment, the Focus-cover “displays photos of the ancient statue of Aphrodite as deformed, i.e. dirty, a torn flag of the Greek state covering the body of this statue from the waist down, thus altering the meaning of the flag as a symbol of the state. ”




The publisher and twelve journalists have been charged with defamation and insulting a national symbol and the judge has rejected the plea to dismiss the charges. The charges carry a maximum two-year sentence.

The trial will resume on December 9.