Fox News affiliate blurs breasts in record-setting Picasso painting

After selling at auction for a record-setting $179.4 million US this week, Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers (Version O) has been shown in all of its colourful glory to news audiences around the world - but not to those watching Fox 5 News in New York.

Free the (cubist) nipple

A Fox News affiliate in New York City is coming under fire this week for deeming the cubist breasts in a Picasso masterpiece too hot for TV. (Aruna D'Souza / Twitter)

After selling at auction for a record-setting $179.4 million US this week, Pablo Picasso's Women of Algiers (Version O) is now the world's most expensive painting.

Its monetary value and historical significance can't change the fact that it contains naked women, however — and for one Fox News affiliate, Picasso's cubist boobs are simply too hot for TV.

Fox 5 News in New York City is coming under fire this week for blurring the breasts in Picasso's masterpiece in a TV segment about its sale.

"We decided to blur the nude portions so that we could show it to you on air," said anchor Dari Alexander before running the piece during Monday's 10 p.m. broadcast according to Mediate.

Presumably, the station censored the image to avoid offending anyone — a move that proved wildly ineffective in the age of #freethenipple and mothers being blocked from Facebook for posting photos of themselves breastfeeding.

Art historian Aruna D'Souza was one of the first to tweet out a screenshot from the broadcast, sent to her from a friend who'd been watching it live, Mashable reported.

New York magazine's senior art critic, Jerry Saltz, sent the story viral on Wednesday by asking his followers "How sexually sick are conservatives & Fox News? They blurred parts of the Picasso painting. #SickMinds"

The backlash only grew from there, with many online mocking the station for censoring abstract, modern art breasts.

"Fox News blurs out breasts in Picasso painting... But they'll show a hostage murder," wrote Twitter user @jlkopfLNP, referring to Fox's decision earlier this year to post a video released by ISIS showing the burning of a Jordanian pilot being held hostage.

"Area Fox Affiliate Outfoxes Fox News," Slade Sohmer of Mic News joked.

Twitter user @BroadcastEmu poked fun at the cubist nature of the painting: "Fox News blurred nipples on a Picasso painting, incidentally this is the only way I know where the nipples were on said painting."

On Thursday morning, Fox 5 took to Facebook with an apology.

"We get it. A blurred-out version of Pablo Picasso's masterpiece — Women of Algiers (Version 0) — wasn't the best move," the update reads, linking to a story on its website showing "the art work in all its glory." 

It appears as though the damage has already been done, however, as people are now mocking up what other masterpieces would look like as seen in a Fox News broadcast.