The Press (13/02/15) reports:
Warning: The story below contains material some readers may find objectionable.
A Canterbury Museum exhibition is sparking outrage ahead of its display of a banned t-shirt depicting a graphic image of a nun and explicit abuse of Jesus.
The image and words are printed on a t-shirt that appears in the T-Shirts Unfolding exhibition, which opens at the museum tomorrow.
Entitled Vestal Masturbation, the shirt is the design of English heavy metal band Cradle of Filth.
On the front it shows an image of a masturbating nun while on the reverse it has the phrase “Jesus is a c***”.
Christchurch’s Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews questioned why the t-shirt needed to be included in the exhibition at all.
Cartoons and ridicule of the prophet Mohammed had led to violence and outrage in Islamic countries, and the public needed to consider whether what happened here could “have repercussions across the globe”.
“At a time when we are seeking ways to reconcile extreme views in the international community, this exhibit could feed the accusation that the West is morally bankrupt,” she said.
“The inclusion of this t-shirt as art in an exhibition is a conversation for the wider community with issues of mutual respect, common decency and what the public wants and does not want.”
Catholic blogger Brendan Malone said in a blog post that a museum should bring a community together, but Canterbury Museum’s decision to hold this exhibition was “irresponsible” and would “result in unnecessary harm” to the public.
“Canterbury Museum has chosen to make itself a place that fosters intolerance and division – and what’s worse; as a ratepayer I am being forced to fund this intolerant and divisive behaviour.”
He questioned whether the museum would display a t-shirt that “attacked and ridiculed Islam” in the same way.
Malone also launched an online petition on Change.org asking for Canterbury Museum to “remove the hateful t-shirt” and “stop dividing the community”.
The petition said the museum should act with more community responsibility and respect for its local funders by removing the t-shirt from its exhibition.
More than 600 people had signed the online petition by 9.30am today. [Read more…]