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Protesters Smash 'Piss Christ'

Catholic activists hit it with a hammer in Avignon museum
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 8:50 AM CDT
Protesters Smash 'Piss Christ'
Visitors comment on the attack on 'Immersion Piss Christ', a controversial piece of art by Andres Serrano, after its partially destruction by two catholic activists, on April 19, 2011 in Avignon.   (Getty Images/AFP)

(Newser) – A pair of extreme Catholic protesters celebrated Palm Sunday this weekend by bursting into the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon, France, and smashing Andres Serrano’s (in)famous photograph “Immersion Piss Christ,” and some other works of art they objected to, with hammers. According to a French report translated by the New Yorker, the men were from the organization Civitas, (“for a Catholic city”), which seeks “the restoration of the social reign of Jesus Christ over civil society.”

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The vandals also damaged a second work, depicting the torso of a nun with her hands in her lap, and physically threatened three guards before fleeing, according to the BBC. Police are currently looking for the suspects, who have been identified in photos from a large protest against the works on Saturday. That protest drew 800 protesters, and the gallery’s director tells the Irish Times he’s gotten tens of thousands of emails demanding he remove the photo—which he derides as “injunctions from the Middle Ages.” (Read more Andres Serrano stories.)

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