This artwork sure gets people worked up into a tizzy. I remember the hullabaloo over
the funding when I was in high school, which immediately made me more interested in contemporary art. History of the image on Wikipedia here.
From the Animal website:
‘PISS CHRIST’ DESTROYED BY CATHOLICS IN FRANCE
Yesterday at 11am, two Catholics “disguised” in sunglasses ran inside the museum of contemporary art in Avignon, France, assaulted the guards and attacked Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ with hammers, icepicks and spraypaint, destroying the 1987 photo of a plastic crucifix soaking in a glass of the artist’s urine. Thou shall not have watersports in the holy S&M pageant!
Less than a month after the fist-pummeling of the “evil” and “very homosexual” Gauguin, the world’s latest anti-blasphemy crusade followed a protest outside the museum by 800 ultra-conservatives from the “re-Christianize France” lobby, supported by the far-right National Front party.
The duo ran off after smashing the $25,000 work. Another print of the work was attacked in 1997 by teenagers in Melbourne and another in 2007 by neo-Nazis in Sweden. This time, the show will go on. Director of the Lambert collection Eric Mezil said he’s leaving the destroyed work up so the public can “appreciate the barbarity committed by extremists.”
This at least makes me feel a little bit better:
Guardian article here.