Koh statue update

blessed1.jpgPendennis in The Observer brings amusing news about Terence Koh’s Jesus-with-a-penis statue we blogged about last month.

The Conservative Christian Fellowship have spoken out against the blasphemy:

We have an excellent history in this country of freedom of expression and thought. But we also have a Christian heritage which deserves some respect. A work like this needs to be treated with contempt. The artist was clearly just trying to shock and the people who should answer for it are the people who allowed it to happen. They should be treated with contempt.

Unfortunately, the owner of the statue, Anita Zabludowicz, is married to the 24th richest man in the country, who has donated £70,000 to the Conservative party. Surely they cannot accept the donation from someone they hold in such contempt?

Baltic Jesus statue “no case to answer”

<b>Emily Mapfuwa</b>: A name which will be associated with Christ's cock for ever and ever, amen

Emily Mapfuwa: A name which will be associated with Christ's cock for ever and ever, amen

Good news from Gateshead, where a case brought against the Baltic art gallery has been stopped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

Essex Christian Emily Mapfuwa tried to prosecute the Baltic for the offence of “outraging public decency” in spite of the fact that she had never visited the exhibition.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Nicola Reasbeck said:

It is necessary to construe the offence of outraging public decency in a way that is compatible with the right of freedom of expression under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Having considered the evidence in this case with great care, we are satisfied that there is no case to answer.

We have taken into account all the circumstances, including the fact that there was no public disorder relating to the exhibition and that there was a warning at the entrance to the gallery about the nature of the work on display. The case has therefore been discontinued.

Let’s hope the Baltic pursue Mapfuwa and the Christian Legal Centre for costs.

(Failing that, looking at the results of a Google image search on the pious Ms Mapfuwa’s name is quite satisfying.)

God’s nob case adjourned till September

<b>Semi censored</b>: Koh's Jesus statue, with the knee-high penis, offends Christians

Semi censored: Koh's Jesus statue, with the knee-high penis, offends Christians - therefore it must not be seen be anybody

The case against the Baltic art gallery, which we reported on in July, had its first hearing yesterday at Gateshead Magistrates Court. It was adjourned until September 23, when it will be heard at Crown Court.

Emily Mapfuwa, of Brentwood Essex, is bringing the private prosecution on the grounds that the statue was likely to harass, alarm or distress people who viewed it. It is not clear whether she visited the gallery herself, or if she is taking offence by proxy. She is supported by the Christian Legal Centre, which claims it

believes in freedom of expression but this statue served no other purpose than to offend Christians and to denigrate Christ.

A spokesman for the Baltic said:

Baltic denies the allegations that have been made by Ms Mapfuwa and will vigorously defend itself in court.

Private prosecution for Jesus with a lob on

<b>Pixel dick</b>: The Sunday Mail thoughtfully obscured the Messiah\'s lob-on

Pixel dick: The Sunday Mail thoughtfully obscured the Messiah's lob-on

Terence Koh’s statue of the Saviour-with-a-semi which scandalised Christians earlier this year is back in the news.

A Christian called Emily Mapfuwa from Brentwood, is bringing a private prosecution against the Baltic Gallery in Gateshead, which exhibited the statue. Her logic, predictably, goes like this:

I don’t think this gallery would insult Muslims in this way, so why Christians?

Legal documents reveal that the charges are that the gallery offended public decency and breached Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986. The first hearing is due in September.

The Mail on Sunday story carries a large picture of the statue, with the “penis” slightly pixelated to protect sensitive readers.

Stephen Green of failed fundamentalist lobby group fame wll be green with envy. He dropped his hilarious “countdown of defiance” earlier this year (it measured, to the second, how much time had passed since he issued a command to the gallery owner to destroy the statue). Presumably because nobody was paying it any attention. Much the same response that greeted his demands that the South Wales Echo ” should immediately take down” the Dan O’Neil column which suggested Christ was gay (it’s still there). They caved.

Mapfuwa has brought an interesting test case, but it must surely be dismissed.

Countdown of defiance

Stephen “Dog Shit” Green, national director of Stephen Green’s Voice (aka Christian Voice), has set up a digital counter on the CV website which keeps track of the length of time an art collector continues to defy the will of Stephen Green.

Anita Zabludowicz is the billionaire owner of a statue by Terence Koh which depicts Jesus (the semi-mythical figurehead upon whom the religion of Christianity is based) with an erection. It was displayed earlier this year at Gateshead’s Baltic art gallery.

As we reported in January, Stephen Green was “hurt and disappointed” that the Jewish collector should show such insensitivity, especially as “only last year [Stephen Green] drove 250 miles to deliver clothing for Jewish relief charities.”

The web timer indicates:

Time which billionaire Jewish art collector (and friend of the Chief Rabbi) Anita Zabludowicz has had to destroy her blasphemous, pornographic statue of Jesus Christ with a phallus attached, since getting it back from the Baltic Centre in Gateshead at 6.00pm on Saturday 20th January 2008.

It is accurate to the second.

MWW enlisted the help of Terence Koh to track down an image of the statue in question. The artist is slightly frustrated that the piece has been removed from its context of a much larger installation, but believes that the giggles it has given him since outweigh the annoyance.

So, applying the principle of the “naughty step”, whereby the object of the religionist’s offence is given wider exposure than it would have had if the offended had not kicked up a fuss and made unreasonable demands, sit on this, Stephen Green, and think about what you have done:
jesus’ erection and stephen green

Jesus’ erection offends the usual suspects

The London Paper reports that Stephen Green’s Voice is calling for a foot high statue to be destroyed.

The figurine of Christ with an erection forms part of an exhibition at The Baltic in Gateshead of the Zabludowicz collection. It is by Chinese artist Terence Koh.

In a press release last week, Green says Koh “badly needs the saving and healing grace of Jesus Christ”. The LP reports that he is also claiming that it has already raised a “storm” of protest.

But a spokeswoman for the Baltic says she has received only 3 letters of complaint:

Contemporary Art by its very nature is often challenging and controversial; reflecting and responding to some very serious personal and social issues in modern life.

Baltic does not shy away from presenting such works.

We do endeavour to provide advance warnings to our visitors when the artworks presented may be distressing to them to enable a choice to be made, and we shall continuously seek to improve our advance information in this way.

Well said, that spokeswoman.

UPDATE: (14th Jan) The press release on Green’s website contains this psychologically revealing passage:

… I am hurt and disappointed that it is a Jewish art collector who has not only bought such an indecent, blasphemous and offensive statue of the Lord Jesus Christ from Koh, but has allowed it to go on show. Only last year I drove 250 miles to deliver clothing for Jewish relief charities.

This is all about Stephen Green and his feelings. Stephen Green drove 250 miles to deliver clothing to Jewish relief charities, and how does this Jewish art collector repay him? She displays a statuette of Jesus with a hard on! What a shoddy, ungrateful way to treat Stephen Green.