Gay Artists Build Pope Effigy In Pre-Conclave Protest

Category: Media & Culture / Mar 05, 2013 4:12PM EDT
While cardinals gathered at the Vatican in preparation for the conclave that will elect the new pope, two artists held a preview of an exhibition criticizing the Catholic Church on Tuesday (March 5). The exhibition, named "The Unspeakable Act", is a comment on the financial and sex abuse scandals that have plagued the Church, and calls for the institution to modernize. Their creation is a life-size statue of a richly robed pontiff hiding in a confessional box, with bejewelled hands covering his face, apparently horrified at a phrase he has just read in the gospel: "Let the little children come to me". Installed in an low-lit theatre in central Rome, a holy site where the patron saint of Italy, Saint Catherine of Siena, died, a track of Pope Benedict announcing his resignation in Latin plays over voices confessing sins and ominous music. Artists Antonio Garullo and Mario Ottocento have worked as an artistic pair for 20 years, and were the first Italian gay couple to be married when they wed in Holland in 2002. Since then they have battled for their union to be recognized in Italy, which has no legal provision for same-sex couples. "As a gay couple our life is fundamentally influenced by many factors. But as gays, it wasn't great to hear the pope saying that we are a threat to world peace. But there are other reasons why we decided to concentrate on papacy as a theme," Ottocento said. The exhibition is due to open to the public on Wednesday (March 6). Video Source: Reuters