The Taoiseach is in the nudes, er, news again.

Someone thought Dublin’s two most prestigious museums needed nudes of the Prime Minister to complete their art collections.

A nude painting of Taoiseach Brian Cowen holding his undergarments was hung in the gallery of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Meanwhile, a similar painting of a nude Cowen sitting on a toilet was displayed in Dublin’s National Gallery.

The artist’s guerilla tactics for exposing the paintings were successful, but didn’t last too long. When a museum visitor asked staff about the painting in the Royal Hibernian Academy, it was immediately taken down. At the National Gallery, the nude was noticed 20 minutes after it was hung, and was promptly removed and handed over to police.

A woman who saw the nude at the Royal Hibernian offered to purchase it, but since the museum does not own the painting, the transaction could not be completed.

Whether the hanging of the paintings was an act of art or of civil disobedience, the matter is now with the gardai (Irish police), and an investigation is underway.