The Statue of David, completed by Italian artist Michelangelo in 1504 and exhibited in Beijing on July 9, had his genitals covered with digital mosaics in footage shown by a China Central Television news program.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of China on July 9, the museum exhibited 67 masterpieces of renowned artists, mostly famous works from the Renaissance period.
CCTV covered the genitals of the statue with digital mosaics while broadcasting images of the exhibition at 11:48 am on July 9.
The move stirred debate on the Internet, with netizens mocking CCTV's alleged lack of respect toward the work.
The keywords "CCTV adds mosaic to statue" became one of the top three searching results on July 10 on Sina's micro blogs.
CCTV removed the mosaics when it rebroadcast the program at about 3:54 pm on July 9.
As of the morning of July 10, CCTV had not offered any explanation for adding or removing the mosaics.