— CNN (@CNN) January 26, 2016
Italian media reported that the statues had been covered to show respect to the Iranian culture and sensitivity.
A spokesperson for the city of Rome, which manages the museum, said that plans for the meeting had been made by the Office of the Prime Minister. The Italian government has not commented on the matter.
The statues that were covered were in rooms adjacent to the room where Renzi and Rouhani made their joint statement Monday.
The decision infuriated many Italians, who took to social media to express their views. They accuse the government of betraying Italian history and culture for the sake of economic interests and to please the international guest.
Under the hashtag #statuenude, angry Italian tweeters posted pictures of famous nude sculptures.