Too sexualized A Christ poster causes controversy in Spain

Too “sexualized”? A Christ poster causes controversy in Spain

A Christ that is too “feminine” and “sexualized”? In Spain, the official Holy Week poster in Seville (South) has provoked the ire of ultra-conservative circles, who are calling for its removal, considering it “insulting” to Catholics.

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This poster by Sevillian artist Salustiano García, presented on Saturday, shows the risen Jesus lightly covered at the waist by a white shroud.

It represents “the luminous part of Holy Week”, in the “typical style of this distinguished painter”, emphasized the organization in a press release, which brings together the Sevillian brotherhoods that will take part in the processions that take place every year from Palm Sunday to Sunday Easter.

This poster, intended to be distributed throughout the city, sparked controversy on social networks, where many Internet users, as well as an ultra-conservative Catholic association, denounced his character as “sexualized.”

This poster is “a real shame and an aberration,” said on X the Institute for Social Policy (Ipse), an organization that defends “Christian symbols” and particularly campaigns against abortion.

She judged this Christ as “feminine” and “mannerly”, called for his removal and demanded a public apology from the artist, considering that this “offensive” depiction did not correspond to the spirit of Holy Week.

This criticism was voiced by the leader of the far-right Vox party in Seville, Javier Navarro, who judged “this provocative poster” on X. It does not correspond to “the purpose for which it was designed,” namely “to promote the pious participation of the faithful,” he added.

A petition has even been started on the website Signed by nearly 10,000 people on Monday, it calls for defending Seville's “tradition” and “religious fervor” in light of this work.

“Politicization of Painting”

Reactions denounced by the author of the poster, who said he was “surprised” by these attacks and assured in an interview with the conservative daily ABC that he had painted a “sympathetic” and “elegant” work, in an attitude ” deep respect”. ” for believers.

“To see sexuality in my Christ, you have to be sick,” said the 52-year-old artist, recalling that Jesus was regularly depicted naked in classical art. “The people who said bad things about my work (…) need a little artistic culture,” he scoffed.

Salustiano García, whose works are exhibited in galleries around the world, said he used his son as a model for this poster. “We both laughed when we discovered this controversy and we are very surprised at the politicization of the painting,” he added.

The Socialists in power in Spain defended the poster and denounced the “homophobic and hateful” nature of the attacks, as expressed by their leader in Andalusia, Juan Espadas, who defended the alliance of “tradition and modernity” characteristic of this region , a former bastion of the left.

Spain, which decriminalized homosexuality in 1978, three years after the death of dictator Franco, has since become one of the most open countries in the world to the LGBT+ community, allowing same-sex couples to marry and adopt gay people as of 2005.

Holy Week processions, which commemorate the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ, occupy an important place in Spain, a country where Catholic traditions are still very present – ​​and especially in Seville, which is considered the “capital” of these religious processions applies.