Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 15:23 UK

Offer to deface Bible withdrawn

bible at goma
Visitors were encouraged to "write themselves back in to the Bible"

An artist who created an artwork in which visitors were encouraged to deface a copy of the Bible has asked for it to be put in a glass case.

Jane Clarke, herself a Christian, had said she wanted people who felt marginalised to be able to write their stories back into the Bible.

But the exhibit, part of an exhibition about sexuality at Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art, was the subject of protest.

Christian groups complained visitors were writing obscene messages.

The Bible will remain on display in a glass case and the public will be able to write their comments in another book alongside.

Sheets from this book will be inserted in the Bible by curatorial staff.

Ms Clarke, who devised the exhibit, is a minister with the Metropolitan Community Church, which has a specific outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities.

A statement from Culture and Sport Glasgow, which runs the gallery, said she had requested the changes.

Ms Clarke said: "Writing our names in the margins of a Bible was to show how we have been marginalised by many Christian churches, and also our desire to be included in God's love.

"As a young Christian I was encouraged by my church to write my own insights in the margins of the Bible I used for my daily devotions - this was an extension of that idea. I still have that Bible, although it's rather tatty now."

She added: "It was never my intention to offend anyone - believers and non-believers alike. I had hoped that people would show respect for the Bible, for Christianity and indeed for the Gallery of Modern Art. I am saddened that some people have chosen to write offensive messages."

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