The poster of Jesus chosen for Holy Week in Seville unleashes the fury of Spanish ultra-conservatives, who are horrified by the artwork that – in their opinion – represents a “too effeminate” and, therefore, “offensive” Jesus. The ability to please everyone when it comes to interpreting the divine face in a modern way often generates unrest. Just think when the scandal erupted, again in Spain, after a parish decided to promote “feminist Christology” meetings by releasing a poster replacing Christ on the cross with a naked woman. The poster that is now sparking debate in one of the most progressive countries on the civil rights front is that of the Seville artist Salustiano García who unveiled his work at a Brotherhood Council event, where the city's mayor, José Luis Sanz, was also present. Young, charming, almost wearing make-up, and without a cross: this is how Jesus is portrayed, which Spanish ultra-conservatives do not like.
The artist replied: “I did it with great respect.”
If, for the Fraternity Council, the targeted work is indeed capable of showing “the bright side of Holy Week,” then for the ultra-conservative Catholics of the IPSE group it is nothing more than “an absolutely shameful aberration.” The head of the far-right Vox party, Javier Navarro, agreed with him, describing the action as a “provocation.” A reading that the poster’s owner would no doubt reject: “I did this with deep respect, inspired by my son. Gentle, elegant and beautiful: to see sexuality in my image of Christ, you have to be crazy. Juan Espadas, leader of the Spanish Socialist Party, which is in power in the Andalusia region, defended the action and condemned the “expressions of homophobia and hatred” that emerged as a result of the controversy in recent days. In his view, this depiction of Jesus “combines tradition and modernity.”
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