Italy demands Apple remove offensive What Country iPhone app

Italy’s tourism minister has demanded that Apple remove the What Country app from its online store after the travel guide described Italy as the home of “pizza, the Mafia and scooters”.

The application, which can be downloaded to iPhones, iPads and iPods, characterises each nation with words and images; Italy is summed up with a road sign which reads “Mafia parking only”.

Britain is characterised by “tea, weird sense of humour, football hooligans and rain”, while Germany is summed up with “beer, discipline and autobahns”. China is described as “overpopulation, kung fu, Great Wall, Tibet and tea ceremony”, while the US is characterised as “melting pot, hamburger and the American dream”.

The Italian tourism minister, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, condemned the iphone app as an affront to Italians’ dignity, describing it as “offensive and unacceptable”.

She instructed government lawyers to take legal action against Apple and demanded that the application be removed from its iTunes online store. “Italy is a beacon in the world for its history, culture and style. I cannot allow our country to be discredited by having it represented by a criminal organisation,” the minister said.

The application is described on the iTunes website as “a light- hearted and funny view of the world.” “This is not a travel guide and should not be taken too seriously. Enjoy and have fun!” the website says.

The row comes after a new Hollywood film starring Julia Roberts, “Eat, Pray, Love”, was dismissed by national newspapers as pandering to the worst clichés and stereotypes about Italy, after it portrayed Italians as “always gesticulating and following foreign girls shouting vulgarities.”

Source – The Telegraph

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