17 May 2007

Jesus chocolate sculpture

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Manhattan art gallery canceled its Easter-season exhibit of a life-size chocolate sculpture of a naked Jesus on Friday after an outcry by Roman Catholics.
The gallery's artistic director tendered his resignation to protest the cancellation.
The sculpture "My Sweet Lord" by Cosimo Cavallaro was to be exhibited for two hours each day next week in a street-level window of the Roger Smith Lab Gallery in Midtown Manhattan.
The display had been scheduled to open on Monday, days ahead of Good Friday when Christians mark the crucifixion of Jesus and Easter Sunday when they celebrate his resurrection.
But protests including a call to boycott the affiliated Roger Smith Hotel forced the gallery to scrap the showing.
"We have caused the cancellation of the exhibition and wish to affirm the dignity and responsibility of the hotel in all its affairs," James Knowles, president of the Roger Smith Hotel, said in a statement.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights had called for a boycott of the hotel and dropped the idea once "We got what we wanted," a spokeswoman said.
"We're delighted with the outcome. We're glad that they came to their senses," said Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the league, which describes itself as the largest U.S. Catholic civil-rights group.
Before the cancellation, she had called it "an assault on Christians" adding: "They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the prophet Mohammad naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan."

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