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Saturday, 6 July, 2002, 16:49 GMT 17:49 UK
Bin Laden rides to fresco Hell
Fresco showing Osama Bin Laden
The fresco includes the World Trade Center, at bottom left, and Bin Laden, bottom right
Osama Bin Laden has been depicted in a Romanian church fresco - riding a plane to Hell.

The artist, Ion Badila, said he was working on the painting at the time of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington when planes were flown deliberately into buildings, killing more than 3,000 people.

Fresco showing Osama Bin Laden
Bin Laden carries the Devil's fork, aimed at the World Trade Center
He saw the television coverage and decided to depict Bin Laden as Satan for the fresco in the Defence Ministry's Orthodox chapel in the western city of Timisoara.

"I was working on the images for 'Descent into Hell', when I saw the terrorist attacks on the America, and people were saying it was the apocalypse and Hell on earth," the newspaper Evenimentul Zilei quoted him as saying.

In the painting, Osama Bin Laden carries the Devil's fork and is riding an airplane through the flames of Hell towards the World Trade Center - the main target of the 11 September hijackers.

Frescoes - where pictures are painted on fresh plaster - are common in European churches, depicting Bible scenes and images from Heaven and Hell.

Several centuries ago, church painters in what is now Romania often showed the Turks as Satan, from the times when the area was under Turkish rule.

See also:

18 Sep 01 | South Asia
04 Jul 02 | Panorama
05 Jul 02 | Panorama
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