An art museum in Bolzano, Italy has refused demands from Catholics, including Pope Benedict XVI to take down and no longer show “Zuerst die Fuesse” (“First the Feet”), an art piece by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger showing a crucified frog. The frog’s eyes are shown popping out and his tongue sticking out. He wears a loincloth and holds a mug of beer and an egg in its hands.
The pope wrote a letter to Franz Pahl, the president of the Trentino-Alto Adige region and an activist who has engaged in a hunger strike to bring down the art piece. He quotes the letter from the Pope as saying that the artist “has offended the religious feelings of many people who consider the cross a symbol of God’s love and of our redemption.”
One can certainly see why the 3-foot sculpture would be offensive to Catholics and other Christians, though supporters insist that it is not a religious statement but an ironic self-portrait of the artist and his angst. The museum explained that “With humor and a tragicomic sense, which belongs to art since the times of Greek tragedy, Kippenberger … faces his condition of suffering, which he expresses in many works, also, for example, in a video in which he crucifies himself.”
Somehow I do not think the explanation will help.
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