Among the monuments of Mithras is CIMRM 584, a relief showing the tauroctony, Mithras killing the bull. It was probably found in Rome, but is today in Venice, as part of the Zulian bequest. I came across a photograph online, and added it to the catalogue of Mithraic monuments.
While googling, I found another photograph at Wikimedia commons here, taken by some visitor to the museum. But on the page was this extraordinary claim:
With this claim:
This image reproduces a property belonging to the Italian cultural heritage as entrusted to the Italian government. Such images are regulated by Articles 106 et seq. of the Italian Code of Cultural Heritage and Landscape under Legislative Decree No. 42, dated January 22, 2004, and its subsequent amendments. These regulations, unrelated to copyright regulations, establish a system for the protection of Italy’s historic and artistic heritage and its standards of dignity. Among other things, these regulations provide for the payment of a concession fee by those who intend to benefit economically from reproductions of property belonging to the Italian cultural heritage. Reproduction of this image is permitted for personal use or study. A further authorization by the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture is required for reproduction for any other purpose, and particularly for commercial use. Such commercial use includes, but is not limited to, use in (a) any form of advertising, and (b) any company name, logo, trademark, image, activity, or product.
It is quite extraordinary stuff. An ancient Roman carves a relief; a modern man takes a snap of it with a digital camera; and somehow the officialdom of the modern Italian state (created 1870) must receive a fee? How nice for them.
In practice, I am sure, this is largely ignored. One feature of corrupt states is that they pass endless oppressive laws that are only enforced when some powerful or greedy individual chooses. In this way the police can always find an excuse to arrest someone, because everyone is per force guilty of something. In practice it impoverishes everyone.
So the next time you go to Italy and take a photograph of the forum, remember this curious edict. Whether you abide by it, of course, is another matter.