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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 March 2007, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Chocolate Jesus exhibit cancelled
Chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ
The sculpture was to have been exhibited over Easter

A New York art gallery has decided to cancel an exhibit of a chocolate sculpture of Jesus Christ after protests by a US Catholic group.

The six-foot (1.8m) sculpture, entitled "My Sweet Lord", depicts a naked Jesus Christ with his arms outspread.

The sculpture, by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, was to have been displayed from Monday at Manhattan's Lab Gallery.

The timing, over Easter Holy Week - the most important part of the Christian year - provoked an outcry.

The Roger Smith Hotel housing the Lab gallery decided to cancel the exhibition after the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights called for a boycott.


"We're delighted with the outcome," said Kiera McCaffrey, spokeswoman for the League.

Ms McCaffrey had called the exhibit "an assault on Christians".

"They would never dare do something similar with a chocolate statue of the Prophet Mohammed naked with his genitals exposed during Ramadan."

The Lab gallery's artistic director, Matt Semler, has offered his resignation, saying the decision to cancel the exhibition was a result of "strong-arming from people who haven't seen the show, seen what we're doing.

"They jumped to conclusions completely contrary to our intentions," he said.

Mr Semler said the timing of the exhibition - when Christians mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ - was coincidental.

Canadian-born Mr Cavallaro is known for using food ingredients in his art, on one occasion painting a hotel room in mozzarella cheese.

He used 200 pounds (90 kg) of chocolate to make the sculpture which, unusually, depicts Jesus without a loincloth. It showed him suspended in air with his arms spread wide, as if crucified.

Storm in US over chocolate Jesus
30 Mar 07 |  Americas

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