Two groups of protesters, one against Trudeau's government and another of pro-Palestinian protesters, had gathered outside the gallery. There were also numerous police.

Jenna Ghassabeh, a spokesperson for Trudeau's office, confirmed the event was called off for security reasons but referred questions to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which had no immediate comment.

Meloni is visiting Canada in Italy's role as president of the Group of Seven nations for 2024 after visiting Washington on Friday.

Earlier in the day, Canada and Italy agreed to enhance cooperation in various areas, including energy security and the shift to a sustainable energy future, over the next three to five years, according to a statement.

(Reporting by Carlos Osorio, writing by Steve Scherer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

By Carlos Osorio