Contemporary art: Fundamentalists attack Christ artwork
18 April 2011
“Whackos hammer Piss Christ,” headlines Libération, in the wake of the destruction of a photograph showing a plastic crucifix submerged in urine by Andres Serrano. The attack, which was perpetrated by fundamentalist Catholics using hammers and screwdrivers, took place in the Avignon Museum of Contemporary Art. “Notwithstanding its provocative title, Piss Christ is not a trashy piece of work but a beautiful red and gold photograph,” remarks the daily – a view not shared by the archbishop of Avignon, His Grace Jean-Pierre Cattenoz who, a few weeks ago, called for this “rubbish” to be removed.” On 16 April, a crowd of 500 people took part in a Front National protest in front of the museum to demand that the work be taken down. Piss Christ, which was produced in the 1980s, has already been the target of a number of attacks by Neo-Nazis: most recently in Sweden in 2007.