Hassan Rouhani may be president of a country that funds terrorism, but that hasn't stopped European capitals, with one commendable exception, from rolling out the red carpet for him.  He's in Europe to practice the art of the deal Iran-style, now that those pesky sanctions are lifted.

Italy didn't just roll out the red carpet for Rouhani–it hid the nude statues in Rome's Capitoline Museums behind ply board so as not to offend the  delicate Hezbollah patron. It is unclear who gave the order but one thing is clear: covering the statues symbolizes the West's lack of belief in our own civilization.

Daniel Henninger writes:

Italy’s repudiation of its own heritage to accommodate Iran’s president is a significant symbolic event. The Capitoline’s Venus isn’t just a naked lady carved out of marble. Just as the naked man and woman in Masaccio’s “Expulsion from the Garden of Eden,” painted in 1423 at the dawn of the Renaissance, are hardly figure studies.

In her recently published book arguing a relationship between the Western artistic legacy and democratic evolution, “David’s Sling,” Victoria Gardner Coates says these works “are not isolated aesthetic objects; part of their value as historical evidence derives from their role in the public life of the communities that produced them.”

Unless that public life is forgotten. Western schools may no longer teach the Battle of Thermopylae, but one may assume Hassan Rouhani knows the details of Persia’s historic loss to brave Greece in 480 B.C. as if it were yesterday.

Putting a white box over a Venus to placate a Rouhani is a loss in the Persians’ return trip to the West.

Why did Roman leaders repudiate their heritage:

 They did so for the same reason that beggars grub change in front of Rome’s churches. Freed by the Obama nuclear deal with Iran, Italy’s tin-cup businesses signed about a dozen deals with Mr. Rouhani this week, totaling $18 billion.

The bowing and scraping to Mr. Rouhani continues this week as France and Germany sign more deals. This is not economic re-normalization. Rather than reform its weak, politically unstable economies, Europe is content to make itself a dependency of the aborning Iranian empire.

Rouhani was also given a guided tour of the Colosseum, associated with Christian martyrdom. Not sure that was the best tourist stop for Mr. R–hope it doesn't give him any ideas because he hasn't ost confidence in his civilization.

Rouhani also had a meeting with Pope Francis. (The Vatican didn't cover its nude statues.) After the meeting, Rouhani said "freedom of expression doesn't mean that people can do what they want."

Yes, but in the West, in the past, it used to mean you could say what you want to say.

THIS JUST IN: Kudos to France's President Hollande, who just cancelled a lunch with Rouhani because the Iranian refused to dine if anybody at the lunch was going to be served vino.