Pope Benedict Outraged Over Sculpture of Crucified Frog
'Zuerst die Füsse,' translated as 'Feet First,' by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger
Thursday, August 28th 2008, 10:08 AMA sculpture of a crucified green frog has the Pope seeing red.
Pope Benedict called the wooden sculpture, "Zuerst die Füsse," which hangs in the Museion museum in Northern Italy, blasphemous. The work by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger features a frog holding a beer mug and an egg, its tongue lolling out, nailed to the cross like Jesus Christ.
The museum's board is meeting Thursday on whether to take down the controversial piece of art, Reuters reported.
Museum officials had previously defended the piece, stating the artist considered it "a self-portrait illustrating human angst."
That explanation didn't sit well with the Pope and other critics.
"Surely this is not a work of art but a blasphemy and a disgusting piece of trash that upsets many people," Franz Pahl, president of the regional government who opposed the sculpture, told Reuters.
The Pope had sent a letter of support to Pahl's campaign to pressure the museum to remove the "crucifrog."
Two years ago the museum, located in the town of Bolzano, was embroiled in another controversy, over a piece of art that featured a toilet flushing while the Italian national anthem played.