Vatican Objects to Image of Frog on Crucifix

Calls it 'desecration,' but Italian museum won't take it down
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2008 6:45 PM CDT
In this June 2, 2008 photo, protesters gather outside the "Museion" museum in northern Italy near a banner saying "while the frog on the cross is being shown do not enter the building."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Despite objections from the pope, a sculpture of a crucified frog will continue to hang in an Italian museum, board officials said today. The Vatican slammed the work, called Feet First, as a blasphemous attack on Christianity. But museum officials cited artistic freedom and said its German creator considered the piece a self-portrait illustrating human angst, Reuters reports.

The loincloth-clad frog’s hands (which hold a beer mug and an egg) and feet are nailed to a cross, evoking imagery of Jesus. “Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash,” said a government official. Italy’s culture minister added that state-funded museums shouldn’t “exalt artworks of desecration, of useless provocation and of nonsense.”