'Gay Last Supper' Sparks Rage

Catholics upset over Vienna museum's painting of apostle orgy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2008 11:14 AM CDT
Austrian artist Alfred Hrdlicka looks at his sculpture 'The Desk Murderer' at the opening of an exhibition. Hrdlicka's painting depicting a gay orgy at the Last Supper caused outrage.   (AP Photo/Lilli Strauss)
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(Newser) – A tiny Vienna museum with ties to the Catholic Church has became the target of worldwide outrage after displaying a homoerotic mural depicting the Last Supper, ABC News reports. The painting, by one of Austria's most cherished artists, shows naked apostles drinking and having an orgy. It has now been removed, and the row has been characterized as a Catholic version of the Mohamed cartoon uproar.

The artist said critics were missing the point and that the apostles' orgy wasn't meant to be a dig at the Catholic Church. The 80-year-old self-professed Communist and atheist conceded, however, that he had been a bit surprised Vienna's Cathedral and Diocesan Museum—across the way from St. Stephen's—wanted to display the work in the first place. (Read more The Last Supper stories.)