Updated:12/18/2020 12: 39h
The Spanish Association of Christian Lawyers has filed a complaint against the director of the Reina Sofía Museum, Manuel Borja-Villel, for the exhibition «The kind cruelty. Leon Ferrari. 100 years ”by estimating that he incurs crimes against religious sentiments and incitement to hatred.
The complaint has been presented in the courts of Madrid by this organization, which considers the exhibition vexatious for Christians, opened last Wednesday to the public, and made up of works donated to the museum by the Ferrari heirs (Buenos Aires, 1920-2013) , when the centenary of his birth is fulfilled.
The lawsuit of Christian Lawyers joins an initiative on the Hazteoir.org platform to withdraw the exhibition, made “to insult Jesus” and that “mocks the gospel”, and that has gathered about 10,000 signatures.
Last Tuesday, the director of the Reina Sofía and the curators of the exhibition argued that Ferrari never criticized religious beliefs, and they explained their work criticized the manipulation of images by power structures such as the Church, governments or the media to normalize violence or inequality.
In its complaint, Abogados Cristianos explains that “The sample includes among his works a Christ on a grill, another crucified on an American war plane and various collage that mix religious images with others of explicit sexual content.” It alleges that “this is a repeat behavior and that it goes against the museum’s own code of ethics.”
Abogados Cristianos has requested the Court extremely precautionary measures to close the exhibition. In addition, it calls for the removal of Borja-Villel as head of Reina Sofía and his disqualification from holding any public office.
The president of the association, Polonia Castellanos, recalls that “in 2014 Villel already authorized a humiliating exhibition for Christians in which a church was seen with a box of matches and a message that said ‘the only church that illuminates is the one that burns ‘”. Add that «At that time Jews, Muslims and even the Ombudsman showed their rejection of the sample».
It also explains that “the Code of Ethics of the International Council of Museums is categorical in point 4.3 in terms of promoting respect for the sacred objects of the communities where exhibitions are held.”
The exhibition will remain open at the Reina Sofía museum until April 2021. León Ferarri is one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century, his works are in museums around the world, such as Moma, and he has been recognized internationally with awards such as the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale (2007).