THE hosts of a fine dining event at a venue whose nude statues offended the robot censors at Facebook have issued a cheeky apology.

Beales Gourmet found itself in the national news after the Daily Echo told how its dining club had been unable to post its adverts on the social media platform.

Facebook’s algorithms had rejected the ad for their “sexual or erotic” content. It turned out its algorithm had spotted two 1924 Romanesque statues in the grounds of the Italian Villa at Compton Acres. Since the Echo ran the story on Tuesday, Beales Gourmet has featured in The Times, the Daily Mail and BBC Radio Solent.

Commercial manager Justin Cohen has since had the statues’ modesty covered with Beales Gourmet aprons.

He wrote: “Dear Facebook, We’re so sorry you were offended by the fine physiques of our Herculean statues. To spare your blushes, we’ve taken the necessary steps to cover up the offending items. We trust this will be to your liking. Tastefully yours, Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa.”

Mr Cohen told the Echo he had been dealing with media interviews this week.

“It’s been fantastic. People have found it really funny and it’s been really interesting reading the comments underneath the stories,” he said.

“I think it’s been an opportunity for people to just have a bit of a laugh at Facebook after their data hacks and other things. It’s been maybe an opportunity to let off a bit of that steam.

“A lot more people have liked that page now, so that was a great result for us.”

Facebook’s advertising policies say ads “must not contain adult content” including “nudity, depictions of people in explicit or suggestive positions, or activities that are overly suggestive or sexually provocative” – but statues are specifically excluded. It has since allowed the ads in question and said it was investigating.

Mr Cohen is due to talk about the episode at a meeting of the You Are the Media Lunch Club, led by content marketing professional Mark Masters at Boscombe’s Shelley House on October 25.

The aprons were in place for a while for the pictures, but guests at a VIP reception for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra were last night due to see them uncensored.