Sunday, January 20, 2019

Freedom of art?

What if had been called "McMohammed"?

Israel's Department of Justice was forced to intervene Tuesday in the controversy around a sculpture of "McJesus" — Jesus modeled as Ronald McDonald — that angered Christians in the Holy Land.

The Ministry of Culture threatened to defund the Haifa Museum of Art, where "McJesus" is displayed and where violent protests broke out last week.

"This work does not belong in a cultural institution supported by state funds," Culture Minister Miri Regev wrote in a letter to the museum, adding that the sculpture, which is part of the "Sacred Goods" show that opened in August, makes a “mockery of the crucifix, the most important religious symbol for Christians around the world,” and could not be protected under freedom of speech.

But the Department of Justice disagreed.

“It is forbidden to block funding to cultural institutions because of the content they exhibit,” Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber wrote in a letter to Regev Tuesday, reminding the minister that the government could not interfere with the contents presented at cultural institutions because it provides financial support.

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel contacted the Department of Justice on behalf of the museum.

“The Minister of Culture seems to have made a quantum leap,” wrote ACRI’s legal advisor, Dan Yakir. He said that while in the past the minister had instructed mayors or other elected officials to prevent cultural events when she did not like their content, it was beyond acceptable bounds to reach out directly to the museum. He said the move violated freedom of speech and expression.

Nissim Tal, the museum's director, told The Associated Press they "will be defending freedom of speech, freedom of art, and freedom of culture" by keeping the artwork right where it is.



Anonymous said...

I think McDonalds could have a copyright case.

Anonymous said...

Stupidity knows no bounds.

C. S. P. Schofield said...

Why do the Culture Vultures think that defending nasty little in-jokes like this does anything but bring the entire concept of 'Art' into disrepute?

But let's drop 'blasphemous' from the argument. That isn't the problem. Not really. The problem is that it is tiresome, unoriginal, and vulgar.

Bird of Paradise said...

Liberals support as Free Speech music and songs with violent words in them but oppose saying words that they feel will offend them and their fellow Liberal Snowflakes

Anonymous said...

As a person of faith I find the sculpture profane - and deliberately offensive.
However I do not support its removal and nor should anyone else who believes in the principles of this site.
However, there are some people in our community who would fight for the right to display this sculpture (and any other attack on religion) on the basis of freedom of speech - but deny that same freedom to people like Milo, Ben, Ann and others who have been deplatformed. That is the real evil here.